New FIFA rules to protect female players’ maternity rights

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Canada Soccer

Clubs will be mandated to give 14 weeks of leave paid at a minimum 2/3rd salary. Female soccer players should soon get their maternity rights protected under new employment rules announced Thursday by FIFA.

The governing body of soccer is preparing to mandate clubs to allow at least 14 weeks of maternity leave paid at a minimum of two-thirds of a player’s full salary. National soccer bodies can insist on more generous terms.

Any club that ended a player’s contract for becoming pregnant faces having to pay compensation and a fine, and being banned from the transfer market for one year.

FIFA chief legal officer Emilio Garcia said that the idea is to protect female players before, during and after childbirth.

The move is seen as a key step in professionalizing women’s soccer, and respecting players’ family lives, after a successful 2019 World Cup and more investment by elite clubs in having a women’s team.

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