As a football game, the FIFA series by EA Sports have used images and likeness of players for years. That being said, the series seems to have ran foul of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The AC Milan forward posted two tweets on the matter, with the second one ending with “Time to investigate”.
The long and short of it is that Ibrahimovic claims that he did not give EA permission to use his likeness in the game. Nor is he aware of any deal between the international football players’ union FIFPro with the publisher. All in all, it’s a strange thing to make a fuss about, when other entries in the FIFA series had done the same since time immemorial.
Somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years.
Time to investigate
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 23, 2020
In response, EA has stated that permission to use of Ibrahimovic’s likeness came from a deal with AC Milan. The company also said that FIFPro works with licensors and negotiates agreements that benefit the players.
On another and possibly related note, EA had reportedly struck a deal with David Beckham. This is so that the latter will appear in FIFA 21 as a special player known as an “icon”. The Mirror reported that this got the retired football player GBP40 million, more than he ever earned in his career. EA disputed the figures, but did not disclose the exact number.