Mino Raiola attacks FIFA games over ‘abuse of player rights’

Football agent Mino Raiola has taken aim at the FIFA franchise and EA Sports as the row over image rights continues.

The issue was first brought to mainstream attention by Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic last November.

The Swedish international tweeted that somebody was “making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years”.

He tagged FIFPro, the worldwide representative organisation for many professional footballers, in the tweet.

That was followed by a tweet from Gareth Bale in response to the striker, with Bale also questioning the use of his rights.

Image rights are essentially anything to do with the player’s likeness, for instance their image, name, endorsement and voice.

The ownership of image rights is an important part of contract negotiations between player and club.

Raiola – who is Ibrahimovic’s agent – spoke to talkSPORT about the issue back in November.

He was back on the radio station earlier this week, and threatened to have his clients removed from FIFA games.

“I think we can, they think we don’t, but I think we can. Because there is a difference in the collective rights they said they bought,” he said.

He then claimed: “They buy collective rights from clubs that say they have it, but they use it on an individual basis and in most countries this is forbidden.

“We think that they are abusing rights of players, that they are not being bought from clubs and the club doesn’t own them.

“If you want to buy a Paul Pogba card or a Zlatan Ibrahimovic card, you have to pay a certain amount.

“But they send you 10 cards and you need to be happy that if in one of those 10 cards is one of the players you wanted.

“So there is a betting component, a lottery in that game and this is not what this game should be about.”

Previous EA statement on image rights

EA Sports have yet to respond to Raiola’s latest comments.

However, they did make comment back in November, when the row first surfaced.

They insisted that the image rights row was between football agents and FIFPro.

An EA Sports spokesperson told Forbes: “The licensing arguments being played out in social media for effect are not an issue for EA or EA Sports.

“This is between FIFPro, the players within their association and their representatives.”

They later added: “This isn’t our fight. This isn’t about EA Sports or video games, players or fans.

“It’s a battle between football agents and FIFPro.

“Mino Raiola is a respected player representative who we have partnered with for many years, including this year when our relationship ensured his client Erling Haaland would be part of our FIFA 21 marketing campaign.

“We have also enjoyed a great working relationship with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has appeared in every FIFA since 2002 and regularly received awards as part of our FUT experience.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty