Spurs winger Gareth Bale has shown his support for Zlatan Ibrahimovic calling out EA Sports' FIFA video game series
According to The Athletic, a growing number of top players are likely to follow the lead of the pair and voice their objections to the use of their likeness in the video game without, they believe, proper consent.
FIFPro, the international players’ union, has a mandate to sell name and likeness rights on behalf of every player from a member nation, meaning a lot of the time, players don’t have to be contacted directly.
For a football game to use name and image rights of players, it must either need a specific agreement with their club, nation or with the individual player. It does not acquire these rights via deals with a league.
Depending on the outcome of this case, which is set to rumble on for months or even years, video games as we know them could change dramatically in terms of graphics and name use.
In recent years, Juventus signed an exclusive deal with PES2020, forcing FIFA to use “Piemonte Calcio” as Juventus’ name in FIFA 20 and 21. If this dispute drags on, FIFA could be forced to create fake player names and use generic graphics to depict player faces in future editions.
Bale and Ibrahimovic are two of many global superstars that may feel short-changed by FIFA in recent years, and a legal battle is about to begin.