Benjamin Mendy, a Manchester City defender in the real-life Premier League, was suspended after being charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault of three women at his Cheshire home between October 2020 and August 2021.
EA removed Mendy’s card from FIFA Ultimate Team and FIFA 22, which releases on October 1, according to Eurogamer.
“As Benjamin Mendy has been removed from the active rosters of both Manchester City and the French National team, in FIFA 22 he has also been removed from respective rosters and suspended from appearing in FIFA Ultimate Team packs and Ultimate Draft while he is awaiting trial,” EA said in a statement to Eurogamer.
Kotaku reached out to EA for further comment but did not receive an immediate reply.
However, EA Play subscribers can still find his card in the game’s player auction. Because of Mendy’s popularity before his rape accusation, his card was available at the launch of FIFA 22 and during the early access period and continues circulating within the in-game auction.
“We can confirm the changes in FUT were made the day after the launch of the EA Play early access trial resulting in some players having access to Mendy in packs before the suspension kicked in,” EA clarified to Eurogamer.
This newfound rarity of Mendy’s card might result in its value increasing among players, according to PC Gamer. EA, however, can prevent this by fixing the price of FUT items related to Mendy like it did with Emiliano Sala, who died in a plane crash.
Although his trial is still underway, there is precedent for Mendy to be re-added to FIFA if he is found innocent. Previously, Marco van Basten was removed from FIFA 20 for using the phrase “seig heil,” which is a Nazi salute, during a game and later returned in FIFA 21.
Mendy was refused bail and is being held in custody PC Gamer reported. He is set to appear in court on November 15, and his trial date is set for January 24.