Hundreds of players are planning on taking legal action against EA Sports, claiming that their likenesses have been used in FIFA games without their permission.
FIFA is one of the longest-standing sports game franchises of all time. The very first FIFA game was released all the way back in 1994 and it has been the leader in soccer games ever since. An updated version of the game has been released every year since then right up until FIFA 21 which was released last month. You can see what we think of the 28th annual installment of FIFA via TheGamer’s review.
Chances are most players get pretty excited when they see themselves appear in a FIFA game, whether it be for the first, fifth, or 15th time. It must always be exciting to discover what you have been rated this year, even if it does turn out to be a disappointment after the fact. However, it has recently come to light that EA Sports may not have been asking for permission to use player likenesses.
That’s according to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his agent Mino Raiola. The Swedish soccer star currently plays for AC Milan and has been appearing in FIFA games for years. However, he tweeted this week that it had never occurred to him that no one from EA Sports or FIFA has ever asked for permission to use his likeness.
“Somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years,” Ibrahimovic tweeted. He also mentioned FifPro who EA works with to license players’ likenesses, claiming he has never had an agreement with the organization. Tottenham Hotspur player Gareth Bale reacted to Ibrahimovic’s comments, claiming he had never even heard of FifPro.
Raiola has told The Telegraph that as many as 300 players featured in FIFA 21 plan on taking legal action against EA for using their image in FIFA games. EA has released a statement claiming to have “contractual rights to include the likeness of all players currently in our game.” Apparently, it does that through the clubs and leagues in which players compete. It has the right to use Ibrahmiovic’s likeness via a deal with AC Milan, and the same for Bale through permission given by the Premier League.
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