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FIFA Introduces Groundbreaking Policies to Support Mothers in Football

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Discover the new FIFA regulations to support mothers and coaches in football with enhanced maternity, adoption leaves and family contact during tournaments.

FIFA Expands Measures to Support Parenting and Football Careers

Starting this Saturday, FIFA will introduce expanded measures designed to reconcile the demanding world of football with motherhood and family life, encompassing both players and coaches. Three years after mandating that its 211 member federations must offer players at least 14 weeks of maternity leave, paid at a minimum of two-thirds of their contractual salary, FIFA now extends these provisions to include non-biological mothers and coaches.

New Adoption Leave and Flexible Periods

FIFA's new regulations will also introduce 'adoption leave' offering a minimum of eight weeks if the child is under two years old, four weeks for children aged two to four, and two weeks for children older than four. This measure ensures that players or coaches who are not biological mothers will have at least eight weeks to accommodate the birth or adoption.

Further solidifying its commitment to family support, FIFA announced that clubs can register a new player outside the usual periods to replace those on leave. FIFA will also urge member federations to permit more extensive family contact for players and coaches during major tournaments and national team commitments.

Jill Ellis, former head coach of the United States Women's National Team, emphasized the significance of these changes by sharing her own experience balancing motherhood and a professional coaching career. 'A career in football should not exclude being a mother or raising a child,' Ellis stated. Sarai Bareman, FIFA's director of women's football, highlighted that the menstrual cycle's impact on a player's performance has been considered, allowing absences from training or matches due to menstrual health concerns without risking salary loss.

The new initiatives were presented by FIFA this Friday, following their approval by the Council in May, and are part of the Strategic Objectives for World Football 2023-2027.

  • FIFA has reinforced its protection measures with the aim of making a career in football more family-friendly. The updated rules, effective from Saturday, follow up on the 2021 mandate that required maternity leave for players and now extend similar benefits to coaches, including both biological and non-biological mothers.
  • The inclusive approach also addresses same-sex parent families, providing at least eight weeks of leave post-birth or adoption, ensuring young mothers and returning parents don’t face career disadvantages. Flexibility in recruitment outside regular periods highlights clubs' ability to field competitive teams even when accommodating players' family needs.
  • Significant figures like Jill Ellis have expressed strong support, reflecting on how such policies could have positively impacted their careers. FIFA's initiative encourages federations to maintain a balance between professional sports and personal life, enhancing the welfare and performance of female athletes worldwide.
Daily Reports
Refs: | Le Parisien | Clarin |

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