The footballer mom preventing for maternity rights

90min is championing 10 influential girls in soccer this International Women’s Day.

Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir made waves when she gained her maternity declare after not being paid her full wage throughout being pregnant.

In January of this 12 months, the Icelander detailed for the primary time how she had taken her former membership, Olympique Lyonnais, to a FIFA Tribunal and gained, after they did not pay her wage following her announcement of being pregnant.

“When I’d first advised the membership about my being pregnant, they appeared very glad for me and stated they’d do every part to assist me, and I believed that,” stated Gunnarsdottir in an written account of the occasions main up the case.

“[For four months] I didn’t hear from anybody within the entrance workplace or the teaching workers. I used to be nonetheless in shut contact with some teammates, in addition to the physician and the physios, simply personally. They have been all good mates of mine. But the membership by no means formally reached out. No one checked to see how my coaching was going, how my being pregnant was progressing.

“I used to be entitled to my full wage throughout my being pregnant and till the beginning of my maternity go away, in keeping with the obligatory laws from FIFA. These are a part of my rights, and this could’t be disputed — even by a membership as huge as Lyon.

Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir

Gunnarsdottir warming up for the 2022 Women’s Champions League remaining / Harriet Lander/Copa/GettyImages

“The victory felt greater than me. It felt like a assure of monetary safety for all gamers who wish to have a baby throughout their profession. That it’s not a ‘possibly,’ or an unknown.

“I wish to be sure nobody has to undergo what I went by way of ever once more. And I need Lyon to know this isn’t O.Okay. This just isn’t ‘simply enterprise.’ This is about my rights as a employee, as a lady and as a human being.”

She additionally posted on Twitter, saying: “It’s a wake-up name for all golf equipment and it’s a message to all gamers that in the event that they get pregnant or wish to get pregnant throughout their profession they’ve their rights and ensures!”

In May 2022, the FIFA Tribunal dominated in Gunnarsdottir’s favour, ordering Lyon to pay €82,094.80 as excellent remuneration, on high of a 5 per cent curiosity.

FIFPRO, which is the world consultant physique for footballers, referred to as the case “the primary ruling of its variety since FIFA’s maternity laws got here into pressure in January 2021.”

Gunnarsdottir gained the Champions League twice with Lyon in addition to the Coupe de France. She moved to Juventus following her departure from Lyon, a call that OL stated was “purely sporting causes,” regardless of Gunnarsdottir being advised that she would haven’t any future at Lyon if she fought the case on the FIFA degree.

The midfielder began her profession in her house nation of Iceland earlier than taking part in for Rosengard in Sweden for six years. After her stint in Sweden, she made the transfer to VfL Wolfsburg, profitable each the league and the DFB-Pokal within the 4 seasons that she was there, earlier than signing to OL in 2020.

Internationally, Gunnarsdottir has been an important participant for Iceland, incomes her first senior call-up on the age of 16. She made her senior debut in a UEFA Women’s Euro 2009 qualifier in opposition to Slovenia and has since established herself as a cornerstone of the Icelandic nationwide crew, making 145 appearances for her nation.

Gunnarsdottir has been captaining the facet since 2017, apart from a short stint in 2014 when her teammate Margret Lara Vidarsdottir was away on maternity go away, and is undeniably certainly one of soccer’s influential girls.

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