“We’re not here to stand and watch”: FIFA 16 features women

From arrests of senior officials, to worries about sponsors, the reputation of soccer's governing body has been battered in recent days. However one recent FIFA policy might give people cause to celebrate the organization.

FIFA 16, the latest from the top-selling gaming franchise, will allow gamers to play as female soccer teams, the first time in the series, EA Sports announced Thursday.

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FIFA 16 video game footage
Credit: EA Sports FIFA

With many gamers criticizing the lack of female players in previous versions, EA Sports felt 2016 would be ideal to feature 12 national women's teams in the game, including squads from England, USA, Australia, Brazil and Spain.

The female national teams can play in three modes: Kick Off, offline tournament and online friendly games; however, won't be able to complete in FIFA Ultimate Team, as this relies on a wider range of players.

To create accurate character portrayals, EA Sports worked with the soccer players, including USA's Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach.

This news will be important for bringing in more gamers to the franchise. David Rutter, vice president and general manager for EA Sports FIFA, said this was a "massive event" in a statement, whilst many players, like England Captain, Stephanie Houghton sung their praises for this new addition on Twitter.

Tweet: Finally it happened! @EASPORTSFIFA include me and my @england teammates in the new #FIFA16 Can't Wait!

Tweet: Can not wait for #FIFA16 to be released! @EASPORTSFIFA @EASPORTS #INTHEGAME @CanadaSoccerEN @FIFAWWC

If this addition to the franchise is successful, there could be potential for incorporating more national soccer teams.

More than just a game

News of such a historic change to the franchise was bound to cause a stir with fans.

Abby Wambach, forward for the U.S. women's national team said in a statement that she was excited not only about female involvement but by fans' reactions as they might not "be expecting something like this from EA Sports."

The promotional video underlines the need for equal representation too, with the voice-over saying "we're not here to stand and watch. This is our game too."

On Twitter, news about this addition to FIFA 16, came in both celebratory cheers and jeers. Along with official featured players, many jumped on twitter to say "it's about time" and "so happy and proud."

Tweet: #INTHEGAME a small step in the right direction, it's about time, now the other half of the world will finally be represented.

However, media coverage quickly jumped on to highlight the backlash from the announcement, yet tweets about "broken nails" to star strikers being "out for 9 months due to pregnancy" were quickly shut down by other users comments.

Tweet: Dear boy-nerds freaking out about female characters in #FIFA16.. this is our game too. Deal with it.

Tweet: Take a bow @EASPORTSFIFA. Brilliant you are finally including female players in FIFA 16. #inthegame

FIFA 16 will be available in the U.S. on September 22nd 2015, on XBOX One, XBOX 360, PC and both PlayStation 3 and 4.

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