EA removes footballer Benjamin Mendy from ‘FIFA 22’ ahead of trial

Trial is set for January 2022

A footballer accused of rape has been removed from FIFA 22 by EA, ahead of his pending trial.

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is accused of attacking three women at his home in Cheshire between October 2020 and August 2021. BBC News reports that the alleged attacks, including on one woman under 18, are said to have happened at his home address in Prestbury.

Mendy appeared in court on September 10, alongside Louis Saha Matturie, 40, of Salford. Mendy was charged with four counts of rape, although neither were asked to enter pleas. A further court appearance is set for November 15, and a trial date has been fixed for January 24.

EA confirmed to Eurogamer that Mendy has been removed from both the Manchester City squad and the French national team in the game, and that his FIFA Ultimate Team card will not appear in packs while he is awaiting trial.

“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,” EA told Eurogamer.

Although FIFA 22 doesn’t launch until this Friday (October 1), publisher and developer EA had previously offered a limited trial to subscribers to its EA Play service. This offered ten hours of access to the full game, allowing players to build FIFA Ultimate Team squads, buying and opening virtual card packs ahead of release, with progress transferring to the game on release.

However, as Mendy’s card was available in the game during the early access window, it can still be found via¬†FIFA 22’s transfer market, an in-game auction facility for FUT cards.

EA said it removed Mendy from the game “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.”

Whether EA acts further to either prevent the trading of Mendy cards that have already been acquired by players or to fix the price of those existing cards to prevent spikes due to perceived rarity – as it did in 2019 after FC Nantes player Emiliano Sala died in a plane crash – remains to be seen.

NME has contacted EA for comment.

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