FC Köln pull out of running football academy in China over human rights

Bundesliga club FC Köln have pulled out of a deal to run a football academy in China after club officials stated they can’t support a “brutal and totalitarian dictatorship.”

This comes after criticism of Arsenal’s reaction to Mesut Özil’s Instagram post about the treatment of the Uighur population, which has since seen the former Germany international being removed from FIFA and PES games sold in China.

Speaking to Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, members Council representative, Stefan Müller-Römer said: “In China human rights are being massively disregarded. A complete surveillance state is being built, one worse than even George Orwell could have imagined. I have followed developments in China for more than 20 years and I have been there several times. I know what I am talking about.

“That is why I am of the opinion that FC Köln should not be active there. Making money at any cost is not an option for me. Apart from the fact that it is questionable whether it is possible to make money there, there are more important things than money. And as a non-profit organisation, that is socially active, we cannot support such a brutal and totalitarian dictatorship.”

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