The beautiful game may be the worlds most popular sport – but that doesn’t stop everyone trying to cream a bit off the top for themselves. From ex-players to modern clubs – no one is safe from a bit of video game license dealing. Yet one prominent player – ex-Argentine international and scurge of Englishmen everywhere Maradona – has taken exception to his likeness being used in a video game.
“Unfortunately, my lawyer Matias Morla will initiate the corresponding legal actions.”
In fairness, Maradona isn’t noted for his diplomacy skills (He famously took potshots at journalists camped outside his home with an air rifle). Yet this entire debacle highlights the ever complex world of sports licensing agreements.
See back in 2016, Konami signed a deal with Barcelona F.C. to have their stadium and players featured in the popular football game. The problem here is that Maradona played for Barcelona between 1982 and 1984 – effectively allowing Konami to cherrypick him from the roster of players in the clubs history.
It should also be noted that Maradona isn’t the only ex-Barcelona alumni to feature in PES 2017. Thierry Henry, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo all make their appearances despite having moved on many years ago respectively.
It’s an interesting lawsuit, if only because it effectively challenges the notion that modern clubs can pillage their history to sell licenses. Imagine if Liverpool F.C couldn’t use Michael Owen, or Manchester United use David Beckham. If Maradona does indeed push the button on this lawsuit, it could be a very interesting test of just how much a club can use its history.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with all the latest on this one as it marches forward.