Despite an electrifying run that shocked the sporting world in the recent Euro 2016 tournament, Iceland will not be featured in the upcoming FIFA 17 video game, which is released across the globe next week. The culprit? An ongoing argument over money with game developer Electronic Arts.
The KSI, Iceland's chief football body, rejected EA's financial offer of $15,000 (the equivalent of £11,501) suggesting that amount was far below their expectations. Iceland, who knocked England out of Euro 2016 in June, made a counter offer which they say was in turn rejected by EA. The fee that EA pays teams included in the game covers the use of trademarks and image rights.
Iceland's historic run upset expectations to a spectacular degree, upending expectations of viewers and bettors across the globe. Their longshot run made a small fortune for those prescient enough to bet Iceland to win. Thankfully you can always still wager on all sorts of international football - Iceland included - with our friends at M88.
"They are the ones buying these rights and they almost want it for free," said KSI president Geir Thorsteinsson. "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." Thorsteinsson's sharp criticism didn't end there, as he added "It has to be proper negotiations and fair fees. I didn't feel that this was done in a fair and open manner."
Iceland, currently ranked 27th in the world, was expected to make their first-ever appearance in the popular video game series, on the strength of their amazing run to the quarter-finals of the European Championship this summer. A total of 47 men's international sides, including all of the home nations, will feature. Per the BBC, India - ranked 148th in the world - will be the lowest ranked international team in the game.