Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent has backed his client’s calls for legal action to be taken against the video game developer
Mino Raiola has taken aim at EA Sports over player image rights in FIFA 21, insisting that too many stars are open to exploitation.
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic caused a stir on social media at the start of the week as he called out FIFA and EA Sports for failing to ask for his permission before including his name and likeness in the latest version of their annual football video game.
Tottenham winger Gareth Bale offered his support to Ibrahimovic by starting the hashtag “#TimeToInvestigate”, with FIFPro subsequently coming out to defend their policies in a lengthy statement.
The International Federation of Professional Footballers told The Mirror: “In light of recent media reports, FIFPRO wishes to clarify the manner in which it obtains the image rights of players, and its role in defending the employment rights of professional footballers worldwide.
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“FIFPRO, a not-for-profit organisation, acquires image rights via player unions in nearly 60 countries. These rights are made available to Electronic Arts and other clients in the video gaming industry.
“FIFPro is reaching out to the players and their representation that have recently raised concerns so we can address their questions.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacts the football industry, we are proud of our member unions for having supported tens of thousands of footballers around the world.”
Notorious super-agent Raiola, who serves as Ibrahimovic’s main legal representative, appeared on talkSPORT on Thursday to discuss the issue and didn’t hold back in his assessment.
“It’s all about money. It’s all about the important money because it’s not EA Sports, it’s not a charity foundation,” Raiola said.
“This is about money, this is about rights, this is about who can exploit whose rights. It’s a principle. Why we don’t do things before or after is a call we will make and we won’t explain now. This is the moment now it’s come out.
“Their statement is that I have bought those rights. That is what their statement is today. We are saying those rights cannot be bought by the organisations.
“I’m doing this thing, because it’s very simple, this is a right of my players that cannot be touched.”