FIFA approves minimum 14-week maternity leave to female players

The world Football governing body, FIFA approved landmark measures to protect women footballers.

The council approved new rules, including a minimum 14-week paternity leave for female players, with at least eight weeks after birth.

After the completion of a player’s maternity leave, her club will be under an “obligation to reintegrate her” into football activity and “provide adequate ongoing medical support”.

“The players are the protagonist of the game, they are the most important part of the game and we have to make sure that we set the stage for them to shine. When it comes to female players, we should bring more stability to their careers. For example, if they need to take a maternity leave, then they don’t have to worry,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a video tweet.

Without providing too many details, the FIFA president said new rules would also be introduced to give greater stability to coaches.

“Coaches develop how we play and inspire the players, they too need job security and we have established minimum standards to protect them,” he said.

The mandatory 14-week maternity leave would see players guaranteed a minimum two-thirds of their contracted salary, while FIFA also made it harder for clubs to part company with pregnant players, saying “no female player should ever suffer a disadvantage of any sort on the basis of her pregnancy”.

The revamped FIFA Club World has been pushed back further. FIFA, in a media release, said that a Club World Cup, in the current format with seven teams, be organised for late 2021 and the hosting rights for this competition be awarded to Japan.