30,000 FIFA cheaters whacked with retrospective red cards

A football referee holding up a red card.
(Image credit: Bob Thomas via Getty Images)
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It's an interesting time to be a FIFA fan. This year's entry may be the best yet, and it may also be the last in the series to bear the FIFA name (opens in new tab). FIFA itself says it's taking its ball home, and looking for someone else to play with (opens in new tab). Over on the other pitch, eFootball's having an absolute 'mare (opens in new tab) (though whether it deserves to be the worst-rated game in Steam's history (opens in new tab) is debateable). Meantime life goes on, millions of players are having their virtual football jollies, and some naughty types have been taking advantage of exploits to dodge losses.

Last week EA noticed an exploit in FUT Champions, probably due to a semi-viral TikTok video (opens in new tab), which allowed players to exit losing matches without the loss being counted. The developer patched the issue quickly, saying "we resolved an issue in FUT Champions that could allow players to leave a match without suffering a loss," but adding the warning that "we are identifying players that exploited this issue and will be following up with them directly."

The follow-up has arrived and, having identified the accounts that used this behaviour "consistently", EA has retrospectively banned over 30,000 players from FIFA 22 online for a week.

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Amusingly enough, loads of the cheaters are tweeting back in panic at the EA announcement, saying the ban has been mistakenly applied for 1,000 days. EA says this is just a display glitch and the bans are all for a week.

There are even those who think that taking advantage of such an exploit shouldn't be punished: when, after all, it's in the game. Such arguments can inspire extreme positions, such as Gegarzon's impassioned outburst.

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Yes! Let justice rain from the heavens! SO ALL BANS ARE DESERVED.

FIFA 22 has also just received an update on PC, fixing a raft of minor issues (opens in new tab), and no doubt you'll all be delighted to know that beards now display correctly when creating an avatar. We reckoned this year's entry played a good game (opens in new tab) but, as ever, the controversy around FUT's monetisation (opens in new tab) remains a major sticking point. Still let's enjoy it while we can: EA Sports FC (opens in new tab) bans 30,000 players just doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."