Mbappé and French football chiefs call off hostilities over image rights

·2-min read
AFP - FRANCK FIFE

Star striker Kylian Mbappé on Tuesday ditched his planned boycott of France team publicity shots after French football chiefs agreed to rethink their stance over the way players are used in marketing campaigns.

Mbappé, 23, said on Monday that he would not take part in the photo sessions for sponsors on Tuesday because the top dogs at the French Football Federation had not looked at accommodating players' wishes and their marketing duties for their clubs.

Following a meeting on Monday night between senior members of the France squad and FFF supremos, the federation said it agreed to revise the image rights of players who turn out for the national team.

Mbappé, who has become a key member of the squad since his debut just before the 2018 World Cup, was involved in a bust-up with the FFF last March over the same issue. It is understood the Paris Saint-Germain player does not want his image associated with certain sponsors and products.

Under a deal signed in 2010, when a player agrees to appear for the France national team they are obliged to feature in publicity and marketing shoots for the team's financial backers.

Even though the money is pooled between the squad members, sponsors inevitably demand certain players. As his fame has grown, Mbappé has become one of the most sought-after faces for the publicity campaigns.

A statement from Mbappé's representatives stressed on Monday night he was not at odds with his teammates. Nevertheless, the FFF moved quickly to eliminate any possible threats to team harmony during the last round of games before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

France play Austria on Thursday and Denmark on Sunday in an attempt to avoid relegation from their Nations League group.

They begin the defence of their World Cup crown on 22 November against Australia before playing Denmark four days later. Didier Deschamps' men finish their Group D games against Tunisia on 30 November.