Alain Beral, vice president of KFC in France, told the “Sport Business Club” website that the chain was considering legal action, although he did not specify whether this 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 France’s Kentucky chain said later that Beral’s comments did not reflect the company’s position.
“The KFC chain regrets the statements made, on Tuesday, and reported by the media this morning. These are personal opinions, but they do not in any way reflect the company’s position,” she said in a statement to Reuters.
KFC France was keen to make it clear 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 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 fully trusts 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.
Mbappe had refused to participate in a group photo session and sponsorship activities scheduled for Tuesday because he did not want to promote some brands, including fast food chains and bookmakers, which have contracts with the national team.
“I decided not to participate in the photo session after the French Federation refused to change the photo rights agreement with the players,” Mbappe said in a statement.
“The French Football Federation is committed to reviewing the image rights agreement between itself and its selected players as soon as possible,” the FFF said.
France hosts Austria in the Nations League on Thursday and then plays in Denmark three days later.