Wed, 28 Sep 2022

French football chiefs and star striker Kylian Mbappe became embroiled on Monday in a bust-up over publicity shots for the France national football team.

The Paris Saint-German forward withdrew from assignments planned for Tuesday over the French Football Federation's refusal not to change its stance on players deciding which products they would like to endorse.

"Mr Mbappe and his representatives (...) deeply regret that no agreement could be reached, as requested, ahead of the World Cup," said a statement for the player.

In the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Mbappe became the youngest player to feature in a major tournament with the French team at 19 years and six months.

He finished the compeition with the World Cup trophy as well as the prize for best young player at the tournament for his four goals.


Following disappointing perfomances in the 2021 European championships, Mbappe was instrumental in France's surge to the 2021 Ligue of Nations trophy with key goals and the winner in the 2-1 victory over Spain.

FFF bosses are understood to be reluctant to renegotiate publicity campaigns and contracts just before the 2022 World Cup which begins in Qatar on 20 November.

"It is a good thing that we have a good relationship with the team," added Mbappe's statement. "This decision obviously does not call into question his total commitment and determination to contribute to the collective success of the national team for the important sporting events to come."

Around 90 million euros of the FFF's annual revenue of 240 million comes through sponsorship contracts.

Under the current tranche of image rights, players sign a deal when they get their first cap that allows as many as five of them to be used in shots for posters to publicise a game.

And each player in the 23-man squad receives an equal share from the pot of money.

Mbappe, who donates his share to charitable causes, is among a group of players such as Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and skipper Hugo Lloris who sponsors covet.

FFF president Noël Le Graët - who had hoped to offset another flare-up with his stars - and his marketing director Francois Vasseur were scheduled to travel to the French team's training camp on Monday evening to meet players.

France entertain Austria on Thursday in the fifth game of Nations League A Group 1. Didier Deschamps' men will be unable to continue the defence of their title after losing two of their four games. Victory over Austria will give them a chance to maintain their status in the group.

Originally published on RFI

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