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Games, Gender &…

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has made an unprecedented decision for women footballers, with the FIFA Council approving new rules, including a minimum 14-week Maternity Leave for Women Players, with at least eight weeks after giving birth. The Federation has mentioned in a statement that women footballers would have to be reinstated in clubs after the completion of their leaves. Furthermore, FIFA has instructed the Football Clubs to make arrangements for medical facilities for women players during their pregnancy, as well!

Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President, was recently heard stating: “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.” He added: “If we are serious about boosting the women’s game, we have to look at all these aspects.” It is to be noted that US World Cup-winning star Alex Morgan (31) set an example in May 2020, as she signed for English club Tottenham Hotspur after giving birth to her child.

Gianni Infantino

As per new FIFA Rules, those, availing 14-week maternity leave, would receive two-thirds of their salary (as per contract). The Football Governing Body has mentioned in a statement that it would keep a close eye on clubs so that women players do not face any problems. The Federation has made it harder for clubs to part company with pregnant players, as it has mentioned that “no female player should ever suffer a disadvantage of any sort, on the basis of her pregnancy“.

For her part, FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman said: “As we try to accelerate the professionalisation of the W/women’s game, which is one of our strategic objectives, it is really important that we evolve and adapt the regulatory framework around the game at the same time. This is a very good example.

Coaches, too, will get benefited by the new rules adopted by the FIFA Council. Although the FIFA President did not elaborate on the new rules, the Federation has hinted that coaches would enjoy many benefits… “Coaches develop how we play and inspire the players, they too need job security and we have established minimum standards to protect them,” stressed Infantino.

Meanwhile, the Women’s Rights Groups have welcomed the FIFA’s decision, saying that other Organisations should follow the steps taken by FIFA in order to provide women with better facilities. In Developing Nations, it is quite flagrant that the problems faced by women are often ignored, even in the Organised Sector

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