January 18, (THEWILL) – Icelandic football player, Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir, the captain of the Icelandic women’s national team, has won a landmark ruling against her former club, Lyon, over unpaid wages during her pregnancy.
In an article for The Player’s Tribune, Gunnarsdottir revealed that Lyon stopped paying her wages while she was in Iceland, claiming that they were following French law.
However, in May 2022, a FIFA ordered tribunal ruled in Gunnarsdottir’s favour and ordered Lyon to pay her the wages that she was owed, totaling over £72,000. Gunnarsdottir stated that she was entitled to her full salary during her pregnancy and until the start of her maternity leave, as per the mandatory regulations set by FIFA.
FIFPRO, the global representative organisation for professional football players, supported Gunnarsdottir’s claim and released a statement congratulating her on the successful outcome. The organisation emphasised the importance of implementing and enforcing FIFA’s maternity regulations at the national level for women footballers and the women’s game.
Lyon was warned by FIFA that if they did not pay the unpaid wages within 45 days, they would be subject to a transfer ban. Gunnarsdottir concluded her article by stating that while there is a lot to celebrate in the women’s game, there is still more work to be done when it comes to the overall culture and that women deserve better.