The Russian national team and all Russian soccer clubs will soon be removed from EA Sports’ FIFA games, including FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile, and FIFA Online, the company announced today.
EA decided to do this as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The game developer supports the attacked country and is working on removing Russian clubs from its most well-known games. “EA Sports stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and like so many voices across the world of football, calls for peace and an end to the invasion of Ukraine,” the announcement reads.
The mentioned voices in soccer likely refer to FIFA and UEFA, which banned Russian clubs and their national team from competing on Feb. 28.
The Russian teams have not yet been removed from EA’s titles, but the processes to do so have already begun. “EA Sports has initiated processes to remove the Russian national team and all Russian clubs,” the company’s statement reads. “We’re also actively evaluating related changes to other areas of our games.”
EA’s actions aren’t the first in the world of gaming or esports that aim to add to the sanctions against Russia and its citizens. This week, BLAST Premier and Elisa Esports, tournament organizers who are known for their events in CS:GO, announced that they’re banning Russian-based organizations from participating in their competitions.
Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Federov, also asked game developers and esports event organizers to ban Russian players and teams from competing earlier today.
One of the most well-known game platforms on PC, Steam, has reportedly started rejecting requests from Russian users, according to Nexta, a Belarusian media outlet that has extensively covered the war in Ukraine.
Governments and companies from all over the world are imposing different sanctions on Russia and Belarus. EA’s decision is just the latest from the gaming world but probably not the last.