FIFA steps up protection of female players and football coaches

The FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee (FSC) has backed two sets of landmark reforms to strengthen the protection of female players, as well as football coaches.

The reforms, developed in close cooperation with stakeholders, will establish new global minimum standards for female players, particularly in relation to maternity.

“Following the recent phenomenal growth and the unprecedented success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France last year, women’s football is now entering its next stage of development,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “It follows that we also have to adopt a regulatory framework that is appropriate and suitable to the needs of the women’s game.”

The proposed new rules include a number of key measures:

  • Mandatory maternity leave of at least 14 weeks, at a minimum of two thirds of the player’s contracted salary.
  • On their return to work, clubs must reintegrate female players and provide adequate medical and physical support.
  • No female player should ever suffer a disadvantage as a result of becoming pregnant, thus securing greater employment protection for women in football.

The FSC also approved new rules to better protect the position of football coaches.

“Coaches play a vital role in the game, but historically they have been left outside the football regulatory framework. We needed to plug this gap and recognise the key role they have,” added President Infantino. The new rules establish minimum standards for coaches’ contracts and provide greater clarity on the content of employment agreements.

Following the approach to player contracts, the aim is to protect contractual stability, achieve greater transparency and make sure that coaches also get paid on time. These new rules were unanimously endorsed by the FSC, which includes club, league and player representatives, as well as member associations and confederations.

The reforms will be put before the FIFA Council for final approval in December 2020.

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