The developers of FIFA 21, EA SPORTS, has responded to threats by AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his agent to sue the publisher over the licensing of his “likeness.” EA claims that “it’s not their fight,” saying FIFPro should step in.
Zlatan might be sitting pretty on top of the Serie A with AC Milan, netting 10 goals in six games to help the Rossoneri remain undefeated, however, he was seeing red at EA using his “likeness” in FIFA 21.
The Swedish star, who has featured in numerous FIFA titles, challenged EA over the rights to use his image. He claimed EA did not seek his permission, and because he wasn’t a member of FIFPro, he wasn’t covered by their license.
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 manouver.
And for sure I never allowed @FIFAcom or Fifpro to make money using me
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 23, 2020
“Who gave FIFA EA Sports permission to use my name and face? 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 maneuver. And for sure I never allowed FIFA.com or FIFPro to make money using me,” he said.
“Somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years. Time to investigate,” he adds in a follow-up.
Ibrahimovic’s stance was backed by his agent Mino Raiola, who told British paper The Telegraph that over 300 players were considering legal action.
However, EA has responded to Zlatan’s claims, stating the fight isn’t meant to be fought with the developer, but with FIFPro themselves.
“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. FIFPro has told us this is their issue, and they’re handling it — we expect a statement to that effect imminently,” the developers told Forbes.
“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.”
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EA also stated they had worked with Raiola to help market FIFA 21 using Erling Haaland, one of his clients. EA also said they have “enjoyed a great working relationship” with Ibrahimovic,
AC Milan signed an exclusive agreement with EA SPORTS in 2020 to allow the developers to use accurate face scans for the entire team. Other partner clubs, such as Real Madrid and Inter Milan, are also part of this agreement.
Ibrahimovic is yet to respond to EA’s statement.