In what comes as a huge boost to professional women footballers, the global football body, FIFA on Friday approved maternity leaves for players, said the federation’s president Gianni Infantino.
The new rule approved by FIFA makes it mandatory for the clubs to give the players a paid maternity leave of 14 weeks and then reintegrate the player into the squad along with necessary medical support. Though, the 14 week period falls short of the minimum 16 week standard set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is a welcome move by the FIFA Council.
💪🦸♀️ The FIFA Council passed landmark reforms today to better protect female players and football coaches
🎙 Here's FIFA President Gianni Infantino with the details
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) December 4, 2020
“If we are serious about boosting the women’s game, we have to look at all these aspects,” Infantino said.
Infantino also admitted that this rule should have been enforced way back and it is a shame that it took such a long time to approve it.
“It is maybe surprising that these reforms are only coming now, but now they are coming,” he said.
Apart from the maternity leave, the clubs will be allowed to sign players outside of the regular transfer period to replace the player on leave. If any club terminates the contract of a player on the grounds of pregnancy then they will have to cope with heavy fines as well as sporting sanctions.
“Female players need to have stability in their career and if they take maternity leave, they should not have to worry about when they are ready to play again,” said Infantino.