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Report: EA snubs Icelandic soccer fans, offers a pittance to license team for FIFA 17

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Iceland's team can best England, but it can't win over EA Sports

The Icelandic national team celebrates a goal during its Euro 2016 match against England.
The Icelandic national team celebrates a goal during its Euro 2016 match against England.
Bai Xuefei/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

EA Sports’ FIFA Soccer series has never included the Icelandic national team before, but despite its Cinderella story at this year’s Euro 2016 tournament, the BBC reports that Iceland will miss out on FIFA 17 too.

That’s not for lack of trying, according to the publication. Electronic Arts reportedly offered to pay KSI, the Icelandic football association, $15,000 to get the team on the roster. That was a poor deal, and the England-toppling Icelandic team deserved more, KSI president Geir Thorsteinsson told the BBC.

"I really feel if we are giving away rights, or offering rights, it has to be proper negotiations and fair fees," Thorsteinsson said.

That may be why Iceland has never appeared in any previous FIFA titles, but that’s also due to the team’s past record. The tiny nation's soccer team only recently achieved league success, with the 2016 UEFA European Championship in France serving as its first ever major tournament appearance. Not only did Iceland make it to the quarterfinals, where it ultimately lost to the host country, but it knocked out longtime favorites England on the way there.

"The performance at the Euros show that we are quite a good team and many would like to play with our team," said Thorsteinsson to the BBC. "It's sad for the players — but the criticism should be towards EA Sports."

Iceland’s star continues to rise, even if FIFA 17 isn’t recognizing it quite yet. We reached out to EA Sports for its take and will update accordingly.

The FIFA Soccer series has found overwhelming success internationally, particularly in Europe. FIFA 16 was the U.K.'s biggest-selling game of 2015, according to MCV. FIFA 17 launches next week, on Sept. 27.

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