Update 09/21/2022: EA Sports has officially confirmed that Ted Lasso and fictional club AFC Richmond will be a part of FIFA 23.
You'll be able to select Jason Sudeikis' beloved Ted Lasso character as a usable manager in Career Mode, and AFC RIchmond will be playable in Career Mode, Kickoff, Online Friendlies, and Online Seasons. EA adds that "a number of AFC Richmond items including kits, tifos, Manager items, and other content will also be available to unlock across FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) and Pro Clubs where applicable."
As you'd expect, Richmond won't be a part of the Premier League in Kickoff, Online Friendlies and Online Seasons and will instead be located in the Rest of the World section. Players Roy Kent, Jamie Tartt, Sam Obisanya and Dani Rojas will all be in the squad, and fictional stadium Nelson Road, will also be part of the game.
In a press release, Sudeikis said: “I am truly fortunate, and deeply grateful, to have had many special moments in my career thus far, and I consider this experience among the best of them. As long-time fans of EA SPORTS FIFA, having Ted Lasso and the whole AFC Richmond squad incorporated into the newest version of the game is truly a dream come true for myself and the rest of the fellas. Our cast and crew work tremendously hard on this show, and we are flattered that it resonates with so many folks. We look forward to our fans having the opportunity to play with, play as, and even play against their favorite AFC Richmond characters.”
“It is so f***ing cool to be in FIFA. I’m not sure this is going to help dispel the CGI rumours but f*** it, totally worth it,” said Roy Kent actor Brett Goldstein. “I look forward to beating my nephew in a game with me as Roy Kent and him as Jamie Tartt. He’s gonna be furious.”
Actor Jason Sudeikis has appeared in a Tweet from the TV show’s official account showing him being digitally scanned… and hinted that it’s for an upcoming video game.
“Look out, Mario!” it reads. “You're not the only pixelated man with a mustache who never knows where the tube is taking him…”
Even more telling, EA Sports FIFA responded to the Tweet, with a simple eyes emoji.
👀— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) September 20, 2022
This isn’t the first time Ted Lasso’s addition to the game has been teased, with a recent leak suggesting that AFC Richmond would make it into the game when it was briefly included in a list of teams on the game’s official website.
Ted Lasso originally debuted in August 2020 and tells the story of the eponymous character – an American Football coach who makes an unprecedented move to the UK to manage the faltering soccer team, AFC Richmond.
Of course, this addition will be music to Ted Lasso fans’ ears. I mean, it might even be the reason I finally get into FIFA.
But it begs the question – how will Ted and AFC Richmond fit into the game? Most importantly, will the team be available for online play? That much seems unlikely. After all, AFC Richmond is entirely fictional… but perhaps the players themselves could find a home as part of FIFA Ultimate Team.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see. But the very thought of adding Ted and AFC Richmond into the game opens up a world of possibilities. Football is life, right?
FIFA 23 will launch on September 30, 2022, but was already available to some players earlier this month due to a pre-load error. Those who pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition will be able to jump in three days earlier on September 27.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.