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NCAA forces removal of 13 women from FIFA 16

(Photo Courtesy EA Sports)

(Photo Courtesy EA Sports)

The NCAA is at it again.

Sixteen women’s players have been removed from EA Sports’ FIFA 16 video game over threats to their collegiate eligibility. According to EA Sports:

“Of the hundreds of players on these rosters, 13 are currently attending or likely to attend NCAA-sanctioned schools in the U.S. The NCAA recently informed EA SPORTS that these 13 student-athletes would be risking their eligibility for collegiate athletics by being included in FIFA 16.”

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Right, because these teenage women’s soccer players stand to make loads of money off this video game, clearly sacrificing their amateur status. EA Sports agrees that the NCAA’s stance is ludicrous, but agreed to remove the players to protect them.

“We do not agree with this position,” EA Sports said in a statement.  “All rights were secured following standard protocol with national governing bodies and federations, and none of these NCAA student-athletes or potential student athletes were to be individually compensated by EA SPORTS for their inclusion in the game.

“We believe this decision denies these 13 athletes the opportunity to represent their countries in the game, but we have removed them from FIFA 16 to ensure there is no risk to their eligibility.”

The FIFA video game series added women’s players and national teams for the first time, obtaining official licenses for 12 women’s national teams for this year’s game. Six of the players are from Mexico, six are from Canada and one player — Alabama’s Celia Jiménez — plays for Spain. The 13 players are:

Kadeisha Buchanan, Canada
Jessie Fleming, Canada
Ashley Lawrence, Canada
Janine Beckie, Canada
Rebecca Quinn, Canada
Sura Yekka, Canada
Celia Jiménez, Spain
Tanya Samarzich, Mexico
Greta Espinoza, Mexico
Christina Murillo, Mexico
Amanda Perez, Mexico
Emily Alvarado, Mexico
Maria Sanchez, Mexico


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