A legal battle threatens the icon’s role in Electronic Arts’ football simulator.
Diego Armando Maradona’s presence in various games of the FIFA series is more valuable than ever for fans of the sport after the death of one of the greatest players in history last November.
However, the controversial football legend could now be excluded from the franchise’s games following a ruling by an Argentine court.
As reported by Infobae, the rights to use Maradona’s likeness are currently owned by Matías Morla’s company, Sattvica. At the same time, Electronic Arts have signed a contract with Stéfano Ceci, a friend and manager of the late football star, who, as the case stands, had no legal authority to do so.
“We order Electronic Arts Inc. to cease all use of the protected images with immediate effect,” says Judge Marcelo Gota in his ruling.
The rights to control Maradona’s trademark were transferred to lawyer Matías Morla last August amid a dispute with the Argentine star’s daughters, Dalma and Gianinna Maradona.
The delicate situation over the trademark rights could prompt EA to permanently remove Maradona from all FIFA games, including the game’s content and advertising. The latest instalment of EA’s sports simulator was released on all platforms on 1 October.