A new message appears when players start up FIFA 22 confirming the suspension, and explains that it’s tied to a “third party legal dispute”. The statement reads (via VGC):
“Due to a third party legal dispute, we must suspend Diego Maradona from appearing in FIFA Ultimate Team Packs, Ultimate Draft and the Soccer Aid World XI team.”
“As such, Diego Maradona Icon Items will no longer be made available in Packs, SBCs and FUT Draft, and their price range has been fixed until further notice,” adds the statement.
“We share our fans’ disappointment and hope to bring one of football’s greatest icons back in the game at some point in the future.”
The complete removal of Maradona’s likeness from FIFA 22 is likely tied to an ongoing legal dispute, where the true legal owner to Maradona’s rights is still in question. This follows Maradona passing away in November 2020 after suffering cardiac arrest in his home.
In November 2021 an Argentine court ruled that former manager of Maradona Stefano Ceci did not in-fact have the rights to the player, even though EA signed a deal with Ceci over Maradona’s rights for FIFA 22.
The rights are believed to now be owned by Matías Morla and their company Sattvica, but Maradona’s own daughters banned the company from using his brands in March of last year. This dispute was later settled, but Maradona’s daughters are still currently in a legal battle with Morla.
Whether or not Diego Maradona will return to FIFA 22 – or for how long his likeness will be gone – is currently unknown.
In other news, Nintendo has responded to the ongoing closures of the Wii and DSi virtual storefronts, saying both are “undergoing maintenance.”