The Iceland national team will not feature in the upcoming FIFA 17 video game, despite being arguably one of the most talked about teams of 2016.
England’s conqueror’s at Euro 2016, where they dumped Roy’s Boys out at the last-16 stage, it’s also worth remembering Iceland sent the Dutch packing in the qualifying stages.
And all this from a country with a population of around 330,000.
Despite all of this, Iceland will not appear on FIFA 17 after failing to come to an agreement over image rights with developers EA Sports.
BBC Sport reported that the country’s football federation, KSI, rejected an offer of £11,501, which they deemed insufficient, given their recent achievements.
“They are the ones buying these rights, and they almost want it for free,” federation President Geir Thorsteinsson explained.
“The performance at the Euros show that we are quite a good team and many would like to play with our team. It’s sad for the players—but the criticism should be towards EA Sports.”
Whether the removal of Iceland from the finished game will extend to their fans and the thunderclap celebration they made famous at the Euros is unclear, but fans will understandably be upset.
It’s now unclear whether the team will simply not feature at all or whether FIFA 17 will look to “do a Pro Evo” by featuring an Iceland team boasting players with even more unrecognisable names than usual.
Eider Gudjohnsen? More like Sneider Goodhansen. Or something to that effect, anyway.
It’s not the first time such an argument has disrupted a FIFA game either. In the 1990s a disagreement with Ronaldo saw the Brazilian named simply as No.9 within the Inter Milan squad
Despite this Thorsteinsson reckons Iceland will be back for FIFA 18, provided EA Sports learns its lesson and ups the offer.
“I think hundreds of millions play this game. Iceland is a cult team so it would get even more attention,” he said in quotes carried by The Telegraph.
“It is often the smaller teams with interesting players that get popular in this game.”
FIFA 17 is due to be released on September 29.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.