Like most crazed football fans, I am counting the days until EA Sports releases FIFA 13.
Personally, I haven't played FIFA 12 since Euro 2012. I'm waiting for the roster changes, the new stadiums, the new kits available, and so on.
As great as playing FIFA 13 will be, for all of us FC Barcelona fans, it will not be as great as it could have been.
Because FIFA 13 will not have the Camp Nou as one of its stadiums on the game.
For Culés, it's a tragedy.
The news broke earlier this week when an EA community manager posted a message on EA Forums that an agreement could not be reached to include the historic stadium in the world's most popular sports video game.
When asked about the issue, Romily Broad, EA's Community Manager for EA Sports FIFA series, stated on his Facebook page:
"Yeah, unfortunately we couldn't get a licence for the Camp Nou this time out."
A screen caption of a simulated FC Barcelona vs. Manchester City game shows that the home stadium is not the Camp Nou, instead, it is "El Libertador."
How can the most popular sports video game in the world not include one of the most historic stadiums in sports? Not to mention the home stadium of the most successful club of the past decade, one of the giants of the beautiful game and the largest stadium in Europe with a capacity of over 99,000 seats!
I just don't get it.
Now I know it looks like I'm making a big deal out of a video game, but I don't care. I love FIFA and I love seeing the Camp Nou every time I play as Barcelona in the game. The objective of playing a sports video game is to try to make the game as realistic as possible for the gamer.
Playing in "El Libertador" and not in the Camp Nou is not realistic. In fact, it's kind of a slap in the face to all true Culés who are gamers.
But what can we do, right?
I will not pick "El Libertador" or any stadium EA selects as the Camp Nou's replacement. I'll select some non-Liga stadium or a South American stadium instead.
It's too bad the Camp Nou will not be available on FIFA 13 and I'm sure EA Sports tried their best to reach a deal with stadium officials.
Still, they should have tried harder. They should have not let up until they came to an agreement. That's what good businessmen do: they know what they can't leave the bargaining table without and will work their way towards an agreement. An agreement is a must and you cannot leave the room without one.
Oh well. It is what it is.
FIFA 13 will be wonderful and joyous for football fans when it's released on September 25 in North America and September 27 worldwide.
But for FC Barcelona fans, FIFA 13 will be a bit incomplete without the Camp Nou on it.
Thanks for reading.
Remember, regardless of the Camp Nou issue, I will begin “FIFA Thursdays” every Thursday beginning September 27. I will be online from 10 p.m. to midnight ET playing against my readers.
So if you want to play against and beat me at FIFA 13, I'm on Xbox 360 and my username is Xoel7. Find me there. I look forward to beating many of you on FIFA 13. And you can guess which team I’ll always pick.
It’s a small way of saying thanks for checking out my articles and thanks for reading Bleacher Report.
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona on Bleacher Report.
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