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Maradona 'Suspended' From FIFA Because His Image Rights Are An Absolute Shambles

Argentinian soccer star Diego Maradona—who passed away in 2020—has long been one of a number of ‘Icons’ available to control in EA Sports’ FIFA series, alongside other retired greats like Pele and Johan Cryuff. Until this week, that is, when his avatar was ‘suspended’ by EA.

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A couple of days ago players began noticing a message popping up from EA Sports, notifying players that, “Due to a third party legal dispute, we must suspend Diego Maradona from appearing”:

That sucks for Maradona/FIFA fans, but the real story here is the chaos taking place behind the scenes. As Eurogamer reports, late last year it emerged that Maradona’s former agent, Stefano Ceci, who had claimed to own the player’s rights and who had signed the paperwork with EA Sports, didn’t actually own those rights.

Matías Morla and his company Sattvica did, having taken them over in August 2020. Now it gets even more absurd: Morla has then spent the last two years involved in a number of legal battles with Maradona’s daughters, who argued he shouldn’t have got hold of the rights in the first place.

Given the absolute state of all this, players shouldn’t be expecting Maradona’s return to the series until it’s all sorted out. If it’s ever sorted out. An EA representative tells Kotaku:

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