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23 Apr, 2022 11:22

EA Sports snubs Chelsea stars

Players from the Premier League giants can't be selected for the Team of the Season
EA Sports snubs Chelsea stars

EA Sports have snubbed Chelsea players by leaving them off their shortlist for the Premier League Team of the Season.

Fans of the widely-popular FIFA series can currently cast votes on the best first XI of the current English top flight term until May 6.

As things stand, however, Blues icons such as Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and N'Golo Kante can't be selected as they weren't included in the nominees – though breakout Crystal Palace star Conor Gallagher, on loan from the west Londoners, can.

EA Sports also haven't issued any Chelsea releases on the Ultimate Team platform since owner Roman Ambramovich, who has since put the club up for sale, was sanctioned by the UK government for alleged links to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine. 

Lead candidates to form the Team of the Season include Liverpool and Manchester City's Brazilian goalkeeping duo Alisson and Ederson at the expense of Chelsea shotstopper Edouard Mendy.

With Chelsea defenders Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta frozen out, Liverpool and City's quartet of Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo could all benefit.

In midfield, snubs for Havertz, Kante and Mount could find Fabinho plus Kevin De Bruyne and Declan Rice greenlit. 

Given his unflatering campaign since returning to Stamford Bridge in a club record £97.5 million ($125 million) transfer from Inter Milan last summer, though, it is doubtful that Romelu Lukaku would have challenged the likes of Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane up front. 

These developments come around two months after EA Sports revealed it would remove Russian teams and clubs from its FIFA and NHL games in sync with a similar ban from FIFA preventing them from competing in international competitions such as the recent World Cup qualifying semi-final and final eventually won by Poland. 

"In line with our partners at FIFA and UEFA, EA Sports has initiated processes to remove the Russian national team and all Russian clubs from EA Sports FIFA products including: FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile and FIFA Online. We're also actively evaluating related changes to other areas of our games," it said in a statement at the time.

"We will keep our communities up to date on any actions taken, and thank players for their patience as we work through these updates," EA Sports concluded.

The Russian Football Union (RFU) appealed FIFA and UEFA's ban at the Court of Arbitration (CAS) for Sport, with an initial rejection meaning that Poland's bye through to the Qatar 2022 final, where they beat the Czech Republic 2-0 in Warsaw, was upheld.

In May, a final decision is expected on whether Russia's women's team can head to England for Euro 2022, and the RFU has also registered interest in hosting the men's Euro 2028 or 2032 competitions. 

As for Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel's charges can end their season on a high, and possibly under new ownership if a sale has been overseen by the UK government, through compensating for their disappointments in the Champions League and Premier League by beating Liverpool in the FA Cup final on May 14.