Football fans worldwide were devastated to hear that Diego Maradona, one of the sport’s greatest icons, has been removed from FIFA 23. The Argentina icon has been removed from the game due to a dispute between his former club Napoli and EA Sports.
EA Sports announced in a statement that Maradona’s likeness would not be part of FIFA 23, citing ongoing legal disputes between the club and its former player. The issue appears to be related to the use of Maradona’s image in FIFA 21, with Napoli having recently demanded compensation for its use of his image without prior approval. It’s still determined whether the dispute will be resolved before next year’s edition is released.
Maradona was one of the most beloved players in football history, renowned for his iconic “Hand of God” goal against England at the 1986 World Cup Final and his outstanding performances for club side Napoli. During his time at the Italian giants, he led them to their first-ever Serie A title in 1987 and two Coppa Italia titles in 1987 and 1989.
Despite the news of Maradona’s exclusion from FIFA 23, fans can still play as him on other platforms such as PS4 or Xbox One. Furthermore, despite not being featured in EA Sports’ football game, Maradona will be inducted into its Hall of Fame later this year alongside some of the all-time greats of the sport. He joins players such as Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have already been inducted into the prestigious list.
In response to Maradona’s exclusion from FIFA 23, the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) released a statement expressing their sadness and disappointment. Furthermore, the AFA called for both parties involved in the dispute to come to an agreement that would allow them to “honor Maradona’s memory” in FIFA games.
Maradona’s Napoli teammate and friend, Bruno Conti, also expressed his sadness at the news of Maradona’s removal from FIFA 23. He said, “Diego was such an important figure during our time together at Napoli, and it’s upsetting to hear that he won’t be featured in this year’s game. I hope they can resolve their differences and find a way to honor his memory in the future.”
The news of Maradona’s removal from FIFA 23 has been met with sadness and disappointment from football fans worldwide, who will no longer be able to play as their idol in this year’s edition. It remains to be seen whether EA Sports can come to an agreement with Napoli that would allow them to include Maradona in FIFA 23 or if he will have to wait until next year for his return. Whatever happens, Maradona will always remain one of football’s greatest players and an icon of the sport.