Player, who has 4 million followers on Chinese microblog Weibo, is called a ‘dirty ant’ for attacking China

Chinese football fans have burned Arsenal football shirts and called on the club to fire star player Mesut Özil after he publicly criticised China’s treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang.

On Friday, Özil, who is usually quiet on social media, posted a message on his Instagram profile describing Uighurs in the far north-western region of China as “warriors who resist persecution”.

Related: Arsenal distance themselves from Mesut Özil comments on Uighurs’ plight

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