Mexico fines soccer teams for conspiracy to limit female players’ wages

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Mexico’s antitrust commission is fining 17 football clubs and the Mexican Football Federation approximately $ 9 million for conspiracy to limit female players’ salaries.

Reuters reported Thursday that Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission, or COFECE as it is called in the local language, said that after the formation of women’s leagues in 2016, soccer clubs worked together to create salary caps for players.

“The practice (…) not only had a negative impact on their income, but also had the effect of widening the gender pay gap,” COFECE said in a statement, according to Reuters.

COFECE claimed that players under 17 received educational and food aid but were not paid. Adult female soccer players had a monthly salary cap of between $ 25 and $ 100, which was then increased to $ 750, Reuters reported.

Some of Mexico’s top soccer teams have been named in the commission’s indictment, according to the Associated Press.

The fines were not fought by either the clubs or the federation, the Liga MX league and the federation together said in a statement, adding that the salary caps ended in May 2019, according to Reuters.

The players’ ability to earn a higher salary or move to different teams was also hampered by a different arrangement, the AP reported. Dubbed a “gentlemen’s agreement” between the federation and all of the fined football clubs, clubs could still keep a player whose contract had expired, according to Reuters.

An athlete’s current team should give their blessing, and possibly request payment, before their player is allowed to leave. La Liga MX and the federation claimed that this agreement ended in 2018.


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