EA Sports have responded to claims by Zlatan Ibrahimovic that ‘somebody is making a profit over my name and face’ but saying ‘this isn’t our fight’.
But the developers insist that the 39-year-old striker’s issue lies with the union which represents around 65,000 players across the world, FIFPro, instead.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has led a backlash against the use of his image on the latest FIFA game
FIFA 21 hit the shops in October as the latest iteration of EA Sports’ flagship franchise
‘The licensing arguments being played out in social media for effect are not an issue for EA or EA Sports. This is between FIFPro, the players within their association, and their representatives,’ the developers told Forbes.
‘FIFPro has told us this is their issue, and they’re handling it — we expect a statement to that effect imminently.
‘This isn’t our fight. This isn’t about EA Sports or video games, players or fans. It’s a battle between football agents and FIFPro.’
Ibrahimovic threatened a major row with the award-winning and hugely popular FIFA series when he tweeted this week: ‘Who gave FIFA EA Sport permission to use my name and face? @FIFPro? I’m not aware to be a member of FIFPro and if I am I was put there without any real knowledge through some weird manoeuvre. And for sure I never allowed or FIFPro to make money using me.
EA Sports have defended their use of player likenesses and insist that they have the correct licenses to do so
‘Somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years. Time to investigate.’
Gareth Bale joined in the questioning, and responded saying: ‘@Ibra_official Interesting… what is FIFPro?#TimeToInvestigate.’
Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, also joined in the criticism, tweeting: ‘FIFPro and AC Milan do not have any players individual right as I’m sure you known and as we’ve told you many times @easports’.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Raiola added: ‘It won’t just be Zlatan or Gareth Bale. We have around 300 requests from players. We will go until the end, if necessary, against FIFA and FIFPro and everybody who sells rights they don’t have.
‘This is one of the biggest disgraces involving FIFA who want to weaken the players to become slaves. But I will not allow that. Zlatan is not a marionette; Zlatan is not someone you can tell to do something he doesn’t want to do. The nice thing about this is that it is being brought by players. He is committed to the cause.’
EA claimed that they worked closely with Raiola to help market FIFA 21 by using one of his clients, Erling Haaland. They also say that have ‘enjoyed a great working relationship’ with Ibrahimovic.
In the summer AC Milan revealed a collaboration with EA Sports meaning gamers can play as the Serie A giants at the San Siro stadium.
‘We are delighted to welcome EA Sports to the AC Milan family as a Premium Partner. This partnership is symbolic of our commitment to delivering world class interactive experiences to our fans all over the world,’ AC Milan’s chief revenue officer Casper Stylsvig said.
‘As a market leader in the world of gaming, in EA Sports we have the perfect partner to help us continue on our journey of engaging and exciting the next generation of Rossoneri fans.’
Ibrahimovic is yet to respond to EA’s statement.
The post EA Sports hit back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s claims they ‘stole’ his image appeared first on 247 News Around The World.