The women’s game received a new boost as FIFA has introduced new rules that guarantee maternity leave and working rights for players.
The rules were put forward just last month and the FIFA Council has given its approval on Friday.
Players who are pregnant will now be given maternity leave lasting 14 weeks and must be paid at least two-thirds of their salary by their clubs.
Clubs will be also obligated to reintegrate the player upon return and will make provision for adequate medical support, although they can register a new player to cover the 14-week period.
Furthermore, a player’s pregnancy status would not allow them to lose their job going forward as clubs will be unable to terminate the contract of the player.
Failure to adhere to this rule will result in an order to pay compensation to the player as well as sporting sanctions – and potentially a fine – being issued to the offending club.
Speaking after the rules – which will be enforced worldwide – were given the green light, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “If we are serious about boosting the women’s game, we have to look at all these aspects.”
“Female players need to have stability in their careers and if they take maternity leave, they should not have to worry about when they are ready to play again.”
Wales Women manager Jayne Ludlow, earlier this month said: “I think many would say it’s probably been a long time coming.”
“The game is developing so quickly right now and this was obviously just another part that needed to be done because if you are a professional female, just like in any other walk of life, if you’re a professional in any other job, you would expect these things.”
“Thankfully for females who are playing in the game now who do want a family, then it’s fantastic for them.”
“When you break it all down, those professional players need to be looked after in a professional manner, so this for me is part of that.”