LONDON, May 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - FIFA 16, the latest instalment of the world’s most popular football video game, will feature women’s teams for the first time, the company which makes the game announced on Thursday.
Twelve international teams including England, Germany, Brazil and the United States will appear in the next FIFA game, to be released in September. The series has been running since 1993, but so far has featured only male teams.
This is a tough week for the real FIFA, which is embroiled in a wide-ranging corruption scandal. Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s embattled president, infamously said in 2004 that women footballers should wear “tighter shorts” to promote “a more female aesthetic”.
A new trailer released by EA Sports on Thursday shows female players preparing for action, and computer-generated versions of stars like England’s Stephanie Houghton and the United States’ Alex Morgan scoring goals before screaming crowds.
“We’re not here to stand and watch, this is our game too,” says a female voice. A selection of stars then say “we’re in the game”, a play on EA Sports’ famous slogan “it’s in the game”.
The month-long FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament kicks off in two weeks in Canada, and earlier this week Nigerian forward Asisat Oshoala was named the first ever BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year.
In November, Irish striker Stephanie Roche finished second in FIFA’s annual “most beautiful” goal of the year award, flicking the ball skyward before firing home a sensational volley for Peamount United against Wexford Youths.
She was the first woman to make the final shortlist of three, alongside the Netherlands’ Robin van Persie and Colombia’s James Rodriguez, who won the 2014 Puskas Award.
Reporting By Joseph D'Urso; Editing by Tim Pearce