Video games developer EA Sports has faced accusations from Russian politicians that the game Fifa 17 is "gay propaganda" following its decision to support LGBT charity Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign, by offering free rainbow coloured laces to players.
The campaign, launched in November, is a huge initiative and is also supported by the Premier League, which offers support to the LGBT community. The Guardian reports that Russian MPs have claimed the game breaks a 2013 law against so-called gay propaganda.
These MPs have called for the country's state communications oversight agency to take action in a letter that claims support for the LGBT community can cause "harm to children's health and development". This means the game could end up being banned in the country.
United Russia MP Irina Rodnina told Russian newspaper Izvestia that authorities needed to "verify the possibility of distributing this game on the territory of the Russian Federation," adding that "every state has its internal laws and order needing to be obeyed".
Fellow MP Valery Rashkin said the game's developer – based in Canada – should "introduce changes to the programming code or the age classification of this information product, and if it refuses, adopt corresponding restrictive measures".
The Rainbow Laces website includes research conducted by Stonewall revealing that one in five of 18 to 24-year-old football fans would be embarrassed if their favourite footballer came out as gay, that 72% of all fans have heard homophobic remarks at live games and that young people are twice as likely to call such language harmless.
Premier League games held over the past month have seen players wear rainbow laces, and seen advertising and flags supporting the initiative.
EA Sports offered its free rainbow kit to Fifa 17 Ultimate Team players until 28 November when the offer expired.