FINALISTS in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Croatia, have been absent from FIFA since 2012, but are now returning to the series.
Despite international success, Croatia’s national team hasn’t been featured in the world’s most popular football game for a decade.
Famously, Croatia knocked England out of the World Cup in 2018 to go on to the finals.
A deal has been signed for the team to return, and the Croatian Football Federation have cited EA’s low pay offer as the reason for the hiatus.
Speaking to Eurogamer after Croatia’s World Cup success, spokesperson for the federation Tomislav Pacak said: “The reason why Croatia is not in FIFA 19 is because Croatian Football Federation and EA could not come to an agreement that would satisfy both sides.
“Obviously, we value FIFA World Cup silver medallists and the world’s best player in 2018 more than EA currently does with its offer.
“We will continue protecting the value and image of the Croatian team and our players.
“We understand and share disappointment by the gamers and we hope this matter will be resolved in the future.
“HNS (the Croatian name for the federation) is more than open to that.
We hope EA will also listen to its consumers and respect their wish to have the Croatian team available in the game.”
The amount that EA pays or offers to pay for the license to include teams, logos and players’ likenesses in FIFA games has never been officially published.
However, a report at the time claimed that EA offered the federation just €100,000 (£85k/$100k) for the right to include Croatia in its games.
Davor Šuker, Croatia’s top goal scorer and former boss of the federation at the time, apparently turned down the offer.
He reportedly scoffed at the amount and refused to work with EA.
Last year, Šuker was replaced and EA has managed to make a deal with the new head.
FIFA 23 will feature a World Cup mode for the first time, so the return of Croatia is timely.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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