Diego Maradona could be removed from FIFA 22 Ultimate Team after court ruling
Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona features on FIFA 22 Ultimate Team as a high-rated FUT Icon card, but that could all be about to change after an Argentine court ruling.
Diego Maradona could be removed from FIFA 22 Ultimate Team very soon following an Argentine court ruling.
The Argentinian football icon, who sadly died aged 60 in November 2020, features in EA Sports’ FIFA gaming franchise within the FIFA 22 Ultimate Team game mode as a FUT Icon, with the former forward having three separate FUT Icon player items that represent his rating and attributes at certain stages of his career.
Maradona was first included on the FIFA Ultimate Team game mode on EA Sports’ FIFA 18, with the Argentine featuring as a new FUT Icon along with Ronaldo Nazário, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Lev Yashin. In FIFA 18, EA Sports introduced FUT Icons as a replacement for FUT Legends.
The former FC Barcelona and Napoli forward has three FUT Icon player items on FIFA 22 Ultimate Team, a 91-rated base FUT Icon, a 95-rated mid FUT Icon and a 97-rated prime FUT Icon. All three of these items are incredibly rare and are highly coveted by FUT players around the world, with these items among the very best in the game.
But following an Argentine court ruling, Maradona could apparently be removed from FIFA 22 Ultimate Team very soon, and it’s all to do with trademarks.
The article states that EA had apparently made a deal with Maradona’s former manager Stéfano Ceci, who reportedly could not prove he had legal powers to sign such documents, which may lead to Maradona being removed from the game entirely.
Mirror Football has reached out to EA for a comment.
But it’s not just FIFA 22 because Maradona’s FUT Icon items are also still available on FIFA 21, last year’s EA Sports FIFA title.
This news comes following EA’s announcement that they are reviewing their naming rights agreement with FIFA, which may lead to a name change for their EA Sports FIFA gaming franchise.
On October 7, 2021, EA released a statement stating that they were considering whether not to renew their licensing agreement with FIFA, which could prompt a name change for one of the biggest video gaming franchises in history.
“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games,” Said the EA Statement.
“This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.
“The future of football is very big and very bright. Our priority is to ensure we have every opportunity to continue delivering the world’s greatest interactive football experiences.”
FIFA responded with a strong statement of their own on October 15, 2021, hinting that they could make their own game instead and aiming a dig at EA Sports.
“FIFA will adopt a new commercial positioning in gaming and eSports to ensure that it is best placed to make decisions that benefit all football stakeholders,” said FIFA in a statement on their website.
“FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and eSports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights.”
Last week, Andrew Wilson (CEO & Director at EA) was asked how aggressively EA will negotiate with FIFA in regards to the license and the contingency plans around this.
“And with respect to license negotiation, I would start by saying we have great relationships with all of our partners, all 300 of them, including FIFA,” Said Andrew Wilson (CEO & Director at EA) on EA’s Q2 FY22 earnings call.
“As we think about the future of football, we think the future is very bright. We think we are part of the very fabric of the culture of football globally, an important part of kind of fandom for football.
“And when we kind of interact with our hundreds of millions of football fans, they tell us they want more cultural brand involvement from across the globe. They want more modalities at play inside the game, which go beyond just straight 11 on 11 football.
“They want more digital experiences outside the game, esports, NFTs, broader sports consumption and they want us to move really, really quickly.
“And so I would tell you, as we think about the future of football, we think it’s very bright. We’re going to work with our global collection of partners that we feel best enable us to do that.
“And we’ll continue our conversations with each and every one of them to the extent that they’re aligned with that objective.”