Mexico’s antitrust authorities fined 17 football clubs and the Mexican Football Association a total of around $ 9 million for conspiracy to cap female players’ salaries.

Reuters reported Thursday that Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission, or COFECE as it is known in the local language, says football clubs worked together to create after the women’s leagues were founded in 2016 Wage caps for players.

“The practice … not only had a negative impact on their income, it also widened the gender pay gap,” COFECE said in a statement, according to Reuters.

COFECE claimed that players under the age of 17 received education and food aid but were not paid. Adult soccer players had a monthly salary cap of between $ 25 and $ 100, which later rose to $ 750, Reuters reported.

According to The Associated Press, some of Mexico’s best football teams were named in the commission’s indictment.

The fines are not being opposed by either the clubs or the association, Liga MX and the association said in a joint statement, adding that the wage caps ended in May 2019, according to Reuters.

The ability of the players to earn a higher wage or move to other teams has also been hindered by another agreement, the AP reported. Dubbed a “gentlemen’s agreement” between the association and the collection of football clubs fined, clubs were able to keep a player whose contract had expired, according to Reuters.

An athlete’s current team would have to give their blessings and possibly demand payment before their player can leave. Liga MX and the federation claimed the agreement ended in 2018.