EA Will Reportedly Remove Russia From FIFA And NHL
Russia invaded Ukraine last week in an unprovoked and unjustified attack on its sovereignty. The war has resulted in tragic and needless death and destruction, but also unprecedented solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the growing isolation of Russia.
Sanctions are preventing Russian citizens from receiving payouts from Steam, YouTube, and Twitch. Disney has halted film releases in Russia, chip manufacturers are halting shipments to Russia, and even social media sites are being blocked. Right now, it’s about as close to the old Soviet-era in Russia as you can get.
And it might be about to get worse. Reporter Tom Henderson just tweeted that he’s received an internal email from EA that ”said it will be removing Russia from the likes of FIFA and NHL games due to the invasion of Ukraine.”
No other details were provided, so we don’t know if this means Russian players, teams, or both will be removed from future editions of the FIFA and NHL franchises. We do know that both FEFA and the UEFA have suspended Russian teams from future competitions until further notice, while the NHL has both condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and suspended its relationships with Russian business partners, preventing games from airing on Russian media.
EA has yet to make an official statement, so this is merely a rumor until the publisher says otherwise.
EA isn’t the only publisher taking a strong stance against the war in Ukraine. World of Tanks publisher Wargaming recently fired its creative director for expressing support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, stating that he was expressing “his personal opinion on social media which categorically does not reflect the position of the company." The move is noteworthy as Wargaming is a Belorussian company, one of Russia’s few allies.
Wargaming also has offices and employees in Ukraine, however, and the company has stated it’s both relocating its Ukrainian staff and their families as well as donating $1 million to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
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