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Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir wins claim against Lyon over maternity rights

Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir has won her claim against Lyon after she was not paid her full salary during her pregnancy.

Gunnarsdottir, who captained Iceland at the Women’s Euro in 2022, became pregnant in 2021 and gave birth in November of that year.

However, she was paid only two months of her full salary by Lyon.

In an article for The Players’ Tribune, Gunnarsdottir said Vincent Ponsot, the club’s director, did not reply to her representatives until a formal complaint was made after she was not paid for two months.

Lyon agreed to reimburse Gunnarsdottir for those missed months but refused to pay her any further wages, citing French law.

When the matter was taken to FIFPRO, the global union for professional footballers, Gunnarsdottir claimed she was told she would have no future at Lyon if it escalated further.

On Tuesday, FIFPRO confirmed Gunnarsdottir, who now plays for Juventus, had won her case against her former club.

Lyon must pay Gunnarsdottir €82,094.82, as well as five per cent interest per annum as from 10 September, 2021, until the full payment is made.

“FIFPRO congratulates Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir on her successful claim against Olympique Lyonnais over the club’s failure to pay her full salary during pregnancy,” a FIFPRO statement read.

“We are pleased to have assisted her in achieving the first ruling of its kind since FIFA’s maternity regulations came into force in January 2021.

“It is extremely important for women footballers and the women’s game that these mandatory maternity regulations are both implemented and enforced at national level.”

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