FIFA announce reforms to protect pregnant footballers
FIFA plans to introduce a series of measures to protect pregnant footballers including mandatory
maternity leave “of at least 14 weeks”, the sport’s world governing body announced on Thursday.
We want to see more women play football but at the same time have a family,” Sarai Bareman, FIFA’s chief
women’s football officer, explained to journalists.
The body said it would put a series of reforms forward for approval by the FIFA Council next month, making
them immediately applicable across all of its 211 member federations.
The mandatory 14-week maternity leave would see players guaranteed a minimum of two-thirds of their
contracted salary, while FIFA indicated a wish to make it harder for clubs to part company with
pregnant players, saying “no female player should ever suffer a disadvantage as a result of becoming pregnant”.
FIFA’s chief legal and compliance officer.
Under the proposals, if a player is laid off after becoming pregnant, clubs responsible face financial
as well as “sporting” punishments.
Clubs must also reintegrate female players and provide “adequate medical and physical support” after
they have given birth.
In a statement, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the reforms were necessary at a time when
women’s football is growing, insisting the sport needed to “adopt a regulatory framework that is
appropriate and suitable to the needs of the women’s game.”
Previously, cases of female players returning to competition at the top level after giving birth have
been rare, although US World Cup-winning star Alex Morgan, 31, had a baby in May this year and
has since returned to the sport, signing for English club Tottenham Hotspur.