EA has pulled Dutch football legend Marco van Basten from FIFA 20 following the former striker’s ill-advised remark made after an interview on November 23.
Van Basten, who made an appearance on Holland’s top sports broadcast network, somehow thought it would be funny to say “Sieg Heil” after the cameras went off him. The ex-player and coach has said he was only mocking the German accent of the pitch reporter but his explanation fell on deaf ears.
The phrase means “hail victory” in german but is also known to be a Nazi salute.
FOX Sports has suspended him for a week and EA has removed him from the FIFA Ultimate Team mode in the latest FIFA installment. The publishers even took the step of informing players via a message.
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“We are aware of the most recent comments made by Marco van Basten,” it reads. “We have an expectation that our commitment to equality and diversity is upheld across our game. As such, we will suspend Marco van Basten ICON items from being available in Packs, SBCs and FUT Draft until further notice.”
Van Basten, 55, currently works as an analyst for FOX Sports in Europe following a glittering stint as a professional footballer. The Ajax and AC Milan icon won the Ballon d’Or on three occasions and was named FIFA Player of the Year in 1992. He scored 300 goals during the course of his career and helped the Netherlands win the UEFA European Championship (known as just the Euros now) in 1988.
His exploits as a player saw him included in the FIFA Ultimate Team pack rated 89 to 93. While he’s no longer in the FUT auction house, he can still be found via name search as it appears that EA didn’t want to punish players who already owned him and put him up for sale.
Van Basten has since apologized for his mistake, adding he thought his microphone was off when he made the “joke.”
“It wasn’t my intention to shock people, I apologise,” he said. “I just wanted to make a comment about Hans’ German. It was an ill-placed joke.”
FOX described the comment as “stupid and inappropriate,” suspending Van Basten until December 7. A timeline on his return to FIFA 20, if any, is still unknown.
Source: Washington Post
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