EA Faces Hypocrisy Claims after Dropping Toney from FIFA 23
Leading games publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has come under backlash from various quarters after it removed Ivan Toney from FIFA 23 following his suspension from playing football.
Ivan Toney's woes started earlier this month when he was found to have broken FA regulations on 232 occasions, including placing multiple bets against his own team.
After pleading guilty to the allegations and being diagnosed with a gambling addiction, the 27-year-old was slammed with a hefty fine and a suspension from "all football and football-related activity" for the next eight months.
After the development, EA decided to remove him from FIFA 23's latest squad update. With an 80 overall rating, Toney was the highest-rated Brentford player in FIFA 2023. However, as he has been dropped from the game, fans who wanted to play with him will no longer be able to do so.
This move by EA has generated accusations of hypocrisy from several fans who argued that FIFA is also promoting gambling through its Ultimate Team mode. The fans refer to an activity in Ultimate Team where you can acquire players through the game's equivalent of loot boxes.
These boxes can be purchased with real money, and gamers won't know what they contain until they buy them. Many believe buying the loot boxes is like gambling or wagering on a slot game.
Some countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have even taken the belief a step further by banning loot boxes for contravening their gambling laws. The topic remains in contention in the UK, with some arguing for and against the loot boxes.
However, there are those that support the EA and agree that the publisher is just keeping the events of the game consistent with reality. After all, they postulated, FIFA titles are football simulators, and it makes sense if whatever happens in sports in real life is implemented in the game, including the suspension of a player.
But this isn't the first time EA would be removing players from its FIFA games. Mason Greenwood and Marc Overmars were removed from FIFA 22 last year over sexual harassment allegations.
As of the time of writing this news, EA has yet to issue any official statement regarding its removal of Toney from FIFA 23.
Results of Toney's Suspension
Toney's suspension period is one of the longest player bans in the history of the Premier League. He won't play again until 2024 when EA would have released its new football FIFA game. However, while the game would be like previous iterations of the brand in every aspect, due to disagreement between FIFA and EA, the latter has decided to name it EA Sports FC and plans to launch it later this year.