Monumental maternity moment as Icelandic footballer wins ruling on pay against former team

Icelandic footballer Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir won a milestone ruling against Lyon after the team unlawfully docked her payments while she was pregnant.

THE captain of Iceland’s national women’s football team, Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir has won a landmark ruling about maternity pay against her former team, Lyon.

The ruling was made back in May 2022 but was announced to the public on Tuesday, January 17 with the professional player calling it a “wake-up call”, saying “This is about my rights as a worker, as a woman and as a human being”.

Gunnarsdottir launched a complaint with international football body, FIFA against Lyon for withholding her salary while she was pregnant. FIFA ordered Lyon to pay her salary of €82,000 in full at the tribunal last year.

The midfielder joined Lyon in 2020 and played for the French side for two years, helping to earn two Champions League titles for the club before a move to Juventus in July 2022.

FIFA rules stipulate that women footballers are entitled to two thirds of their salary for at least 14 weeks of maternity leave.

After the court ruling, Fifpro released a statement saying, “It is extremely important for women footballers that these mandatory maternity regulations are both implemented and enforced at national level”.