Video game company Electronic Arts (EA) announced it will be pulling Russian sports teams from their popular video games, NHL and FIFA.
The announcement was posted to the EASPORTSNHL and EASPORTSFIFA Twitter pages on Wednesday morning. Both statements indicate the video game company is following the ban set forth by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the Union of European Football Association (UEFA)
Both sports organizations banned Russia from competing IRL in the last few days as punishment for invading Ukraine. EA also said Belarusian teams would be banned from the game in accordance with their ban from the IIHF.
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The announcement came as a surprise to people on social media, some of whom scoffed at the move saying it was an empty gesture.
"No Russia on EA Sports FIFA games... That’s sure to make Russia rethink their plans," Twitter user @DWhitmanBTC said.
The company said changes would be coming soon and they would keep fans updated. In the statement posted to their social media pages, EA said, "We stand with the people of Ukraine and join the voices around the world calling for peace."
Like many other companies, EA's removal of Russian teams is meant to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to cease violence in Ukraine.