The dispute about the players in FIFA 21. EA responds to the allegations.


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The last few months have been full of announcements of further lawsuits against Electronic Arts. Most of them are related to FIFA Ultimate Team, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s lawsuit contradicts them for the alleged illegal use of his image in the last part of the football series. As with previous allegations, the publisher was quick to address the whole matter. In a statement for The Guardian newspaper and various services, the EA Sports team confirmed that it has the rights to use the images of Ibrahimovic, Gareth Bale and other players FIFA21 based on agreements with organizations such as FIFPro and the Premier League:

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We make it clear that the contracts give us the right to include any player models in our game. As previously mentioned, we purchase these licenses directly from leagues, teams and individual players. In addition, we work with FIFPro to ensure that we can include as many players as possible in our production to make the game as authentic as possible. In this case, our player equality rights derive from a club agreement with AC Milan and our long-standing exclusive relationship with the Premier League, which includes all Tottenham Hotspur players.

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Basically, the statement from EA Sports leaves no room for discussion. We wrote yesterday about the dubious nature of Ibrahimovic’s claims (and the alleged hundreds of gamers who have followed in his footsteps), highlighting not only the aforementioned Electronic Arts contracts, but also a handful of other bizarre premises. However, this does not mean that the case is closed. Bale’s representative Jonathan Barnett told The Guardian the problem comes down to FIFA putting “a lot of rules and regulations” in place to ensure players’ interests are served, but in practice they do nothing:

Players are currently not paid. For us, the big problem is that FIFA sets a lot of rules and regulations and makes sure that they look after the best interests of the players, but this is clearly not the case.

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This time, the allegations are apparently aimed not only at Electronic Arts itself, but also at other football-related companies. Is the case of footballers in the FIFA series just an excuse to act against the organization that gave the series its name? Anyway, we await further developments.

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  • The official website of FIFA 21
  • FIFA 21 Review – EA, you’ve done it again
  • FIFA 21 Game Guide


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