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Authoritarian States Are Influencing Soccer Through Money - Says Human Rig...

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By Reuters

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FAIR/SQUARE RESEARCH & PROJECTS DIRECTOR, JAMES LYNCH, SAYING: "I do think that a lot of Arsenal fans would have been Googling and learning more about the situation in China for the Uighur population and I think there will be a lot of fans who will be uncomfortable with the way that the club has reacted here to a very serious issue that's been raised from one of their star players and what you've seen in some other clubs particularly in Europe, Bayern Munich is a good example; fans getting very engaged, very educated and committed to certain human rights issues abroad and protesting against their club's involvement in certain cases. Now Arsenal has taken the view at this point on balance it has taken a view that the higher risk was its commercial risk here and it needed to step in and say this is nothing to do with us. Over the long term it needs to have sustainable support, it needs to have passionate crowds filling stadiums. So I think there will be a key decision there that where do they stand going forward on these issues." ISTANBUL, TURKEY (DECEMBER 14, 2019) (REUTERS) PROTESTERS DEMONSTRATING AGAINST CHINA'S UIGHUR POLICY IN XINJIANG UIGHUR CHILDREN HOLDING UP POSTERS WITH PHOTO OF ARSENAL MIDFIELDER MESUT OZIL WOMEN CHANTING SLOGANS, ASKING FOR FREEDOM FOR XINJIANG BOY HOLDING UP A POSTER OF OZIL LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) FAIR/SQUARE RESEARCH & PROJECTS DIRECTOR, JAMES LYNCH, SAYING: "The question for any club in this situation is what are the key values that matter to you. What have you said about yourself as a club, what have you told yourself as a club, what have you told your fans and the value of freedom of expression. Do you value your players' freedom of expression and... So the question everyone will be asking is are the clubs prepared to back that freedom of expression and hold to these higher ideals that they often tell us that they are promoting as part of their work, their community ideals or are they going to be driven by the risk of upsetting the people provide the cash."
Dateline: 2019

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