Russia Might Ban Fifa 17 Soccer Video Game For Being ‘Gay Propaganda’

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By Kieran Corcoran | 6:04 am, December 7, 2016

Russia’s state censorship agency may ban Fifa 17 after it was branded “gay propaganda” by a group of MPs.

The soccer simulator was accused of breaching the country’s anti-LGBT laws by featuring rainbow-colored shirts for players in the game.

Politicians in the country said the game should have its code forcibly changed – or be removed from stores – to excise support for the campaign.

The latest installment of the EA Games product – which has been on sale since late September – included the rainbow shirts in a show of support for a campaign by the British LGBT charity Stonewall.

The pro-LGBT content – a downloadable kit launched in late November – was part of the #RainbowLaces campaign, which was also backed by the real-life English Premier League.

Football grounds were adorned with rainbow-colored campaign material, the league changed its logo online, and players were encouraged to compete wearing rainbow shoelaces.

EA’s endorsement of the campaign received a mixed response online. Some users applauded the developer:

Others used homophobic slurs and posted footage of them downloading the kit and immediately selling it:

The content was a limited-edition product and is no longer available to download.

The gesture clearly angered members of the Russian political establishment, who wrote to a committee overseeing the state censorship agency, claiming it should take action against the game for breaching a 2013 law criminalizing the promotion of homosexuality.

The letter (via The Independent) said:

The FIFA multiplatform video game, developed by EA Canada, invites users to support the action of the English Premier League’s “Rainbow shoelaces” action – a large-scale campaign in support of the LGBT community.

Meanwhile, according to the law the “protection of children from information harmful to their health and development”… includes information that promotes non-traditional sexual relations.

One MP speaking to the Russian media suggested that the agency could change the game’s code to remove pro-LGBT content, increase its age rating to stop children playing, or remove it from sale completely.