FIFA 16 will feature fewer female players than expected thanks to a policy that governs eligibility for American university athletics.

Last week, America's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) informed EA that including women in the game who hoped to attend (or currently did attend) university was a violation of its rules, and that the women in question could be excluded from NCAA-sanctioned athletics as a result.

The NCAA's reasoning appears to be that the women in question could profit from their appearance in the franchise – something that goes against its policy of keeping US university athletics an amateur enterprise.

EA has since removed 13 women from the game, but under duress.

"We do not agree with this position,” said the publisher 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."

For those who want more background information, John Oliver tackled the NCAA's amateurs-only policy in a recent episode of his HBO show, Last Week Tonight.

The full list of players removed from the game:

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

FIFA 16 releases on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 on September 23.