A Manchester City defender is now awaiting the trial. Electronic Arts doesn’t want him to be part of this year’s FIFA 22.
On September 10, Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy appeared in Chester Crown Court. He was charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. Between October 2020 and August 21, the 27-year-old French footballer is accused of attacking three women at his Cheshire home. He is now being held in custody and will appear in court on November 15 before a trial on January 24.
Eurogamer got confirmation from Electronic Arts that the footballer was scraped from the game, but it happened somewhat late. “As Benjamin Mendy has been removed from the active rosters of both Manchester City and the French National team, in FIFA 22, he has also been removed from respective rosters and suspended from appearing in FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) packs and Ultimate Draft while he is awaiting trial,” the publisher wrote.
Mendy’s FUT card was present in FIFA 22 to the EA Play subscribers (who have access to the game for ten hours before it launches), so he might still show up in a few players’ teams. It led to the publisher submit an additional clarification: “We can confirm the changes in FUT were made the day after the launch of the EA Play early access trial resulting in some players having access to Mendy in packs before the suspension kicked in.”
However, his card might be worth a lot due to being banned (and thus, it’s rare). Electronic Arts can modify the price of items in its annual cash cow Ultimate Team, which previously happened (when Emiliano Sala, another player, died in a plane crash). The publisher’s mentality is reasonable: they can bring Mendy back if he is deemed innocent, but the current suspension can stay if he is found guilty.
There have been some unusual events in the past, though. In FIFA 20, Electronic Arts suspended Marco van Basten as a FUT icon because he said Sieg heil during a sports broadcast. However, he returned in FIFA 21.