OL has been criticized by FIFA for not paying a player on maternity leave

The FIFA court forced OL to pay 82,094 euros to former player Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir.

It’s about finally telling my story after getting pregnant in Lyon and the treatment I received during my pregnancy and back in the field!In a lengthy text published on Tuesday, former OL player Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, 32, made a serious accusation against the Rhone club. The speech follows FIFPRO’s publication of a court ruling on May 19, which ordered Olympique Lyonnais to pay its player €82,094 in 2021 for failing to pay her during her pregnancy. at least 14 weeks to professional players in addition to applicable rights in each country. OL eventually settled the debt owed to the Icelandic player, with FIFA threatening to ban the club from registering new players if the sum was not paid within 45 days.

The president didn’t even greet me, didn’t look at me, didn’t recognize Ragnar

Sara Björk is Gunnarsdottir

In parallel with the publication of this decision, the player gave the English website a long account of this period Players Tribune . He criticizes the inconsistency between his former club’s public discussion of its support for pregnant footballers and the way he explained how he was treated. “I had no reason to think anything could go wrong. Until you receive your first paycheck. (…) We sent official letters. When Vincent (Ponsot) finally responded, he apologized for two of the missing months and said I would be reimbursed for it. But it was the third month that they applied the French laws, that is, they said that they no longer owe me anything.” Today, the player who plays for Turin Juventus says. After several months of exchanges and the young mother’s desire to take legal action, OL general manager Vincent Ponsot would respond to his agent. : “If Sara goes to FIFA with this, she has no future at Lyon“.


Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir also explains that she never contacted the club management during her pregnancy and after the birth of her child. On her return, she met Jean-Michel Aulas, who was trying to take over the reins of the future professional women’s soccer league during a meeting with Vincent Ponsot: “While I was there, the president entered the room. It was the first time he saw me since he came back with my baby. He didn’t say hello, didn’t look at me, didn’t recognize Ragnar. But Vincent assured me five minutes ago that “it is not personal” (…) and that he applies French law. He reiterated that it was nothing personal, just business“.

Former OL player and world star Megan Rapinoe reacted to the case by condemning the Rhone club’s kind of double talk about women’s football: “You all like to tell women how much you help, but it shouldn’t be a calculation. I implore you to be a pro-women club and not a pro-women club“.

OL claims to respect French law

In turn, OL provides “In these matters we sometimes find too restrictive (…) and we did everything possible to support Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir during her motherhood.“. Then add to explain the reason for salary delays:In recent months, FIFA has chosen to create a legal framework for the first time for footballers who have to experience maternity during their careers. What are we happy about? FIFA is now criticizing us for not offering Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir another job during her sick leave and then maternity leave, even though the law prohibits us from doing so in France and the player had expressly requested us to do so. back to Iceland where we were adopted.»

In fact, this legal framework was created by FIFA on December 14, 2020.a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave granted to a player due to pregnancy, of which at least eight weeks must be taken after the birth of the child.“. Article 30 of the Statute and the regulation of players have not yet been transferred to the final general rules of the French Football Federation, and the latter only hears the term professional in men.

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