Marco van Basten Removed from FIFA 20
Sports

Marco van Basten Removed from FIFA 20

The retired Dutch striker, Marco van Basten has been removed as an icon player from FIFA 20 Ultimate Team for his Nazi-related comments. The 55-year-old, considered one of the great footballers of the modern era, was also suspended by the Dutch branch of the Fox Sports network after saying the comments while working as an analyst. The creators of the FIFA video game series, EA Sports cited their “commitment to equality and diversity” in pulling Van Basten from its game.

He made the comments when covering a fixture between Heracles Almelo and Ajax. He was heard off-camera saying a German phrase meaning “hail victory” which carries strong associations with Nazi rallies. Van Basten made the comment after Fox Sports presenter Hans Kraay interviewed Heracles’ German manager Frank Wormuth.

Van Basten apologized on air saying, “I didn’t mean to shock people, I just wanted to ridicule Hans’ German, but I’m sorry.” He later added, “Life is like football. Sometimes you score, sometimes you miss. But if you miss, that does not mean that you are a bad person.”

Fox Sports described the pundit’s comments as “stupid and inappropriate”, suspending the former striker until 7 December. The broadcaster added that Van Basten “did not want to hurt anyone deliberately, apologized and accepted the consequences”. Van Basten’s appearance fee will be donated to the Dutch Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

EA Sports also issued an explanatory message to FIFA 20 gamers, “We are aware of the recent comments made by Marco van Basten. 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.”