FIFA 21: Pro player Harry Hesketh banned by EA Sports for making 'mum joke'

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Pro FIFA player Harry Hesketh, formerly ‘Fnatic Harry’, has been banned from regional qualifiers for the EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series after he directed a distasteful remark at an opponent’s mother whilst streaming live on Twitch.

The opponent in question was 14-year-old Danish FIFA superstar Anders Vejrgang, widely considered to be the best player in the world.

Currently on an unfathomable 450-game unbeaten run, Vejrgang decided, not for the first time, to play Hesketh in front of a live-streaming audience, but after a first half in which he put three goals past the Brit with no reply, things turned ugly.

Hesketh stopped taking the game seriously, singing, chanting and drinking with his friends in the background. After having not participated for periods of the second half, he found himself 11-0 down having conceded to Vejrgang’s goalkeeper. At 13-0, having thoroughly lost the plot, he disconnected due to inactivity.

The 25-year-old Everton fan posted a YouTube video on January 23 announcing his retirement from professional EA gaming, in which he appeared wearing a prisoner’s uniform and handcuffs, referencing the ban that had been placed on him by the game maker.

In the video he said: "I made one distasteful comment, right. 'His fingers might be quick, but mine are longer,' and I made a reference to his mother."

However, this was after he had stated his shock at having been dealt the same ban for a mum joke as a racist comment.

The Brit went on to say: "I know a UK base is going to be like, well it's a mum joke, who hasn't made a mum joke, and try to defend me. Don't defend me. At the end of the day he's 14. It's a distasteful comment. For that I apologise directly to Anders and his mother."

During the stream it was apparent that, despite appearing disrespectful towards his opponent, he did not wish any ill on the Dane and remained a ‘fan’ of his. He reacted to the abuse his fans were giving Vejrgang by saying: “Don’t put f**k Anders in the chat, please."

EA SPORTS said of Hesketh’s ban that he had committed a ‘FIFA 21 Global Series code of conduct violation’ for: "Publishing, posting, uploading or distributing content, or organising/participating in any activity, group or guild that EA (acting reasonably and objectively) determines is inappropriate, abusive, hateful, harassing, profane, defamatory, threatening, obscene, sexually explicit, infringing, privacy-invasive, vulgar, offensive, indecent or unlawful."

Despite this, however, the Evertonian was cleared of incitement of his fans’ abuse towards Vejrgang.

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EA SPORTS stated: "The evidence showed actions were taken by the player and his team at the time to denounce the behaviour of viewers and deter them from harassing the opponent […] No action will be taken against the player for these reports.”

Hesketh rounded off his explanatory video by announcing his retirement from competitive EA events, saying: “This is the biggest risk of my life, bar none. If I'm not competing, I'm not competing for a team. I'm deleting a three-year contract... my main income."

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