Harambee stars team captain and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama has sued a local firm in a Nairobi court for using his image without consent.
This comes a barely week after the use of his image in a gambling firm advertisement featuring fellow Tottenham stars was slammed by a British publication.
The 28-year-old, who led his country to the Egypt 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, has taken Menengai Oil Refineries to court for using his photo to tweet a goodwill message to national team – Harambee Stars- ahead of their appearance at the continental showpiece in June.
“If you believe it, you can do it, we at the Menengai would like to wish our boys all the best in the Africa Cup of Nations,” reads the said post on micro-blogging site Twitter accompanied his image.
“If the message was meant for the whole team, a photo comprising the entire team could have been used,” Wanyama lawyers wrote in their complaint filed before the Nairobi Milimani Court on Wednesday.
According to the football star, the company was only ‘interested in promoting their business and not to show support to team Kenya’ as purported.
Wanyama wants the court to declare the respondent’s actions of using his image without consent “contravened his image and personality rights”. He is further seeking the court to determine the said post social media by Menengai constitutes a marketing advertisement and he is entitled to damages as a result of violations of his image as a consequence.
Last week, a British publication slammed the usage of Wanyama’s image alongside Tottenham teammates, England internationals Harry Kane and Dele Ali, Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld to promote a betting firm in Kenya, a country grappling with a gambling problem.
The firm in question, Russian bookmaker 1XBet, are Tottenham’s official betting partners in Africa and have plastered billboards featuring the four Spurs stars across the country as they seek to grab a share of the lucrative and growing sports gaming industry in the East African nation.
“Given the levels of gambling addiction in Britain and Kenya, it’s time to make rules about gambling adverts and sponsorships much tighter. Fans are bombarded with gambling ads and it’s not right,” British Labor deputy leader Tom Watson was quoted as saying in reaction to the English Football Association rules that support the usage of the league’s stars in gambling advertising as long as the company has signed a commercial deal with the club involved.