Advertisements for the energy corporation can clearly be seen during replays and the build-up towards EUFA Champions League games.
NME reached out to EA for comment on the situation, as we verified first-hand the advertising hoardings display these Gazprom visuals. EA said: “For the time being, EA have nothing specific to comment on regarding the exclusion of Russian sponsors.”
EA’s response continued: “However, please find the latest statement from EA regarding the current situation in Ukraine.
“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.
“In line with real world actions taken by our partners at FIFA and UEFA, the following FUT Items will no longer be available in FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) Packs and Ultimate Draft:
- Player Items from Russian clubs
- Kit Items from Russian clubs
- Stadia and Stadium Items from Russian clubs and the national team
- Russian Manager League Consumable Items
- Manager Items from the Russian Premier League
“The aforementioned FUT Items will also have their price ranges in the Transfer Market fixed until further notice.”
NME can verify that the price ranges have indeed been fixed on the market place and the items have been removed. Regarding the Gazprom advertising, we could only see it during UEFA Champions League matches, which begs the question whether this is an EA decision, or related to a licensing deal.
That said, UEFA and FIFA have suspended all Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions, while UEFA itself has ended its partnership with Gazprom. UEFA said it “has today decided to end its partnership with Gazprom across all competitions. The decision is effective immediately and covers all existing agreements including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA national team competitions and UEFA EURO 2024.”
EA has recently been reported saying that the games are being “impeded” by brands like FIFA. During an internal company meeting in November 2021, CEO Andrew Wilson said that the FIFA licence was just “four letters on the front of the box”, and conceded that the relationship could be coming to a close after 30 years.