We'll go into more details below surrounding why the official decision was made and what it means for Ultimate Team players.
Maradona sadly passed away last year, and now a trademark rights claim has cast doubt over EA's deal to have his likeness in the game.
Latest - Maradona officially removed from Ultimate Team
On March 22, 2022, the news was announced that Diego Maradona would be removed from the game due to a third-party dispute that has now been resolved.
A notice from the FIFA 22 team when you open the game details that Maradona will no longer be available.
The cause of this was due to Maradona's imaging rights being signed to a different party who began the dispute with EA.
Here are the areas where Maradona will no longer be available:
- FIFA Ultimate Team Packs
- Ultimate Draft
- Soccer Aid World XI Team
EA hopes to bring Maradona back in the future, if anything in FIFA 22 changes, we'll keep you updated.
Begining of the end
According to the reliable FutSheriff on Twitter, EA will suspend Maradona's items from FIFA 22 following a “third party legal dispute'.
All three of his ICON cards will be removed from Packs, Squad Building Challenges and Drafts if this is true.
We now know that his removal is in place and whether this change will be permanent or just happen on a temporary basis has yet to be announced.
News surfaced earlier in the month that a judge had recognized a claim had been made over the trademark rights of Maradona, according to Argentine news outlet Infobae.
EA's deal to have Maradona in the game had been struck with his former manager and friend Stefano Ceci, who did not have the legal powers to sign such documents according to Eurogamer.
Lawyer Matias Morla gained control of the Maradona brand in October 2021, and now EA's deal for his likeness looks under threat.
For now, Maradona remains playable in FIFA 21 and FIFA 22, but anyone who owns one of his cards now runs the risk of it being removed from the game entirely.
What happens next?
Now you know the backstory, what will happen if EA is forced to remove Maradona from the game?
For starters, Maradona would no longer be available in packs, or playable in the Soccer Aid World XI, that much is obvious.
Unfortunately, things get a little stickier if you already own one of Maradona's cards, as this is a trademark rights dispute, EA may not have any other choice than remove every one of Maradona's cards from the game.
This would likely be more than just removal from packs which we have seen after other incidents before, but possibly removal from your club too.
If the worst was to happen and Maradona was indeed removed from the game, we would expect owners of Maradona to have the card replaced in their club, or the coins added to the account.
The quick-sell value would almost be a slap in the face as Maradona's Base and Mid Icon cards are worth 1.8 million coins and 2.1 million coins respectively.
Replacement cards could also come into play, although how EA implements this fairly could be a challenge.
Paolo Maldini, Ronaldo, and Samuel Eto'o are the closest players to Maradona in terms of value, but would it be a direct swap? Who knows, the story rumbles on...