Kentucky Fried Chicken in France has distanced itself from comments by a senior executive that the fast food chain could sue after striker Kylian Mbappe refused to take part in some sponsorship commitments for the French national team.
Alain Beral, vice president of KFC in France, told the Sport Business Club website that the chain is considering legal action, although he did not specify whether it would be against the player or against the French Football Federation. “We paid for clear services. If necessary, we will defend our rights,” Beral added.
But the Kentucky-based French chain later said Beral’s comments did not reflect the company’s position. “The KFC chain regrets the statements made on Tuesday and released to the media this morning. These are personal opinions, but in no way reflect the position of the company,” she said in a statement to Reuters.
KFC France sought to make it clear that Alain Beral was not speaking on behalf of the company, but in the context of a private conversation during an event related to his duties as President of the National Basketball League.
“The partnership between Kentucky and the French Football Federation has always been a source of pride for the company. Kentucky France has full confidence in the ability of the French Federation to find satisfactory solutions for all partners and players, including Kylian Mbappe, who is very popular in France. The fried chicken company added. Mbappé pulled out of a group photo shoot and sponsorship event scheduled for Tuesday as he didn’t want to promote some brands, including fast food chains and betting shops, that have contracts with the national team.
“I have decided not to participate in the photo shoot after the Fédération Française refused to change the photo rights agreement with the players,” Mbappé said in a statement. “The French Football Federation is committed to renegotiating the image rights agreement between itself and its chosen players as soon as possible,” the FFF said in a statement. France hosts Austria in the League of Nations on Thursday before playing Denmark three days later.