A.C. Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimović has apparently claimed that FIFA 21 has used his likeness in the game "without any agreement all these years," promising to investigate the matter.
FIFA 21 is the newest game in the long-running FIFA soccer franchise from Electronic Arts. Naturally, part of the appeal is using real-world players on the various soccer teams of the world, but one of the more prominent figures in professional soccer is now claiming that his likeness was used in the game without his permission.
Somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years.— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 23, 2020
Time to investigate
Zlatan's Agent Echoes FIFA 21 Claims
Zlatan's claims might come across as somewhat strange, but it seems that he's not alone — his agent has echoed these claims, adding that he has apparently sent out letters to an unnamed party that has yet to receive a reply.
It's not entirely clear what licensing agreements, if any, would be in place for FIFA 21. EA Sports is listed as a partner on A.C. Milan's website, so that indicates that there may already be some kind of agreement in place between Electronic Arts' sports division and Zlatan Ibrahimović's soccer club.
However, FIFA doesn't quite work like other sports leagues. Soccer is an international sport and that means that FIFA is the governing body for a lot of different leagues and soccer clubs, each of which has its own rules and agreements for all sorts of things.
Zlatan does not seem to be alone in his curiosity about the use of his likeness, either — as AltChar reports, another professional soccer player has his own questions on the matter.
Why is there sudden interest from professional players in FIFA 21 nearly two months after the game first launched? It may have something to do with a recent story in The Mirror that debuted over the weekend, highlighting that retired soccer player David Beckham signed a £40 million ($53.3 million), three-year deal to appear in the game.
It's possible that these players may have misunderstood or misremembered licensing agreements that were already in place. If their likenesses were used without permission, however, then EA Sports may have some serious problems on its hands in the near future. We've reached out to EA, AC Milan, and Zlatan's agent for comment and will update this article when we receive a reply.
Update November 24 12PM: Dutch news site NU.nl says that it has received a statement from Electronic Arts on this matter (via The Athletic). According to the statement, Zlatan's likeness was used in FIFA 21 as the result of a deal made with his club A.C. Milan.
What do you think of the comments by A.C. Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimović? What does this mean for the future of FIFA 21? Let us know in the comments below!