SPORT

German Grand Prix: Fifa Force Nico Rosberg To Change World Cup Celebratory Helmet

17/07/2014 11:00 BST | Updated 17/07/2014 13:59 BST

UPDATED 13:20, 17/07/14 - Fifa response

In an act that demonstrates just how far world football has been taken away from the ordinary fan and into the clammy grasp of the sport's governing, Fifa have told Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg how he can and can't celebrate Germany's World Cup victory.

Just a couple of days ago, Rosberg tweeted images of the helmet he had specially designed for this weekend's German Grand Prix. Pretty nice, isn't it?

As well as Germany's victory in Rio, the Mercedes driver has had good reason to celebrate this week; he married long-time girlfriend Vivian Sibold and signed a new 'multi-year' deal with his team. A win in front of his compatriots at Hockenheim would naturally be the icing on the cake.

But he hadn't counted on Sepp Blatter's army of humourless suits who have been on the blower to Brackley to tell Mercedes that their man was infringing its intellectual property rights by using an image of the World Cup trophy as part of the design.

Unsurprisingly, reaction on social media has not been in Fifa's favour:

Now we know F1 is not averse to clamping down when it comes to rights around the sport, but just how miserable can Fifa get?

Let's hope they don't object to Mercedes' celebratory motorhome as well.

Later on Thursday, Fifa explained their actions. Speaking to PA, a spokesperson said it "appreciated [Rosberg's] desire to congratulate the German team" but "Fifa is obliged to take action against any unauthorised reproduction of its intellectual property in a commercial context."

"If Fifa would not follow up on any potential infringements of its intellectual property, it would risk losing its legal right and title to such works, thereby endangering the foundation of its commercial programme which is driven primarily by the access to, and usage of, our brand marks, including the Fifa World Cup trophy.

"An example of the strength of Fifa's intellectual property assets is reflected by recent research in seven key global markets where the Fifa World Cup trophy recorded an average recognition level of 83 per cent.

"These levels are significantly higher than any other sporting trophies.

"As a result, we cannot allow a commercially branded helmet to feature the FIFA World Cup trophy as this would jeopardise the rights of our commercial affiliates.

The spokesman added that Fifa had discussed a solution with Rosberg's team, "whereby he is still able to show his support for Germany without using FIFA intellectual property in a commercial context".