Soccer-KFC France distances itself from executive comments on Mbappe’s sponsorship stance

PARIS (Reuters) – KFC France distanced itself from comments from a senior executive saying the fast food chain may take legal action over forward Kylian Mbappe’s refusal to take part in some of the French national team’s sponsorship commitments.

Alain Beral, vice president of KFC France, told the Sport Business Club website that they were considering legal action, though he did not specify whether this would be against the player or the French Football Federation.

“We have paid for something clear. If necessary, we will assert our rights,” said Beral.

KFC France, however, later said that Beral’s comments did not reflect the company’s views.

“KFC France regrets the words that were spoken yesterday and reported in the media this morning. These are personal opinions, but in no way reflect the position of the company,” it said in a statement to Reuters.

“KFC France also wishes to clarify that Alain Beral did not speak on behalf of the company, but in the context of a private conversation during an event related to his functions as president of the National Basketball League.

“The partnership between KFC and the French Football Federation (FFF) has always been a source of pride for the company. KFC France has every confidence in the FFF’s ability to find satisfactory solutions for all of its partners and players, including Kylian Mbappe, whose supporters we are among the first in France.”

Mbappe had refused to participate in a team photo shoot and sponsor activities scheduled for Tuesday as he did not want to endorse some brands, including fast food chains and betting companies, that have contracts with the national team.

“I have decided to not take part in the photo shoot after the French federation’s refusal to change the image rights agreement with the players,” Mbappe said in a statement.

The federation said it would “review … the image rights agreement between it and its selected players”.

France host Austria in the Nations League on Thursday and play at Denmark three days later.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Christian Radnedge)

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