Football Bans Gazprom – And EA?

It's a surreal article, hard to find the right words. The world is looking anxiously at Ukraine and Russia. The first consequences reach football. Gazprom is removed from shirts and the Champions League final is moved to Paris. We also think EA Sports should set a statement in FIFA.

FIFA 22 Gazprom Schalke Ukraine Russland
Will EA remove Gazprom from FIFA? | © EA Sports / Gazprom / EarlyGame

It's hard for us to focus on FIFA and gaming these days. This isn't meant to be a cringy "make love not war" article. We are EarlyGame, nothing we have to say on this subject matters much.

There is no question or discussion that our sympathy goes to all those affected and that we find the war that has broken out in Ukraine terrible. But we're not going to go into detail here about how awful it all is, we're just trying to classify what's happening and addressing EA, who shouldn't just ignore the situation.

With the sporting world also caught up in the madness (UEFA Champions League final relocated, Formula 1 in Russia cancelled, Schalke removing Gazprom as shirt sponsor), the war in the Ukraine could also affect FIFA 22. Crazy unimportant, that's true. Still, we're on the same page as what German YouTuber Gamerbrother is trying to say:

"Hey @EAFootball. I know there are a lot more important things right now, but if you have one free employee, could you also remove the Gazprom logo from the Schalke kit in FIFA? I think that would be a good statement and many would agree."

Will EA Sports Remove Gazprom From FIFA 22?

Now, of course, we don't know exactly: Are the jerseys scanned and is it a huge effort to change that? Is it possible at all to do it quickly? We also don't know which rat's tail is attached to sponsorship contracts, license violations and so on for EA.

But then again: do something, EA. Anything. Give players Ukraine Crests and Ukraine Fan Choreos to make Ultimate Team all blue and yellow.

Of course, one thing is clear: If EA doesn't make a statement, then it doesn't matter. It doesn't change the war – and yet we think it's important.

Sports, Gaming, Pop Culture: Statements Are More Important Than Ever

Now, there may be people who say, "Oh, stop it. I get anxiety attacks when I think about war. FIFA is a distraction and entertainment." That's true. We feel that too. We will be sitting in front of our console again tonight, just to distract ourselves and not go crazy. Still, you just can't write about the best FUT cards when "3rd World War" is trending on Twitter.

Whether in sports, gaming or in our favorite series and films. It is more important than ever to make clear statements. Whether it's against racism, for equality, for the environment and also against war.

It's sheer madness. Instead of humanity figuring out how we can still use the earth in 100 years, how to share resources more fairly or how we want to live together as a collective species, we still go to war. Because of someone wants more power.

Seems like we're still like wild Stone Age men.

The cynic in us also says: BLM, rainbow colors, FFF... does it change anything? Does that really help make things better? In any case, things get visible. It's a statement. It shows that there are people who care about issues. Who don't look away, who are there for each other.

And even if it doesn't matter whether EA takes the Gazprom logo off the Schalke kit, releases players or not, it would still be a statement. A small one, an unimportant one considering the situation, but a statement nonetheless.

No human should live in war. No matter where. No matter how. No matter who.

We just hope for the best. And we also don't know what to do with our thoughts.

Love and Peace