Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir condemns “shameful” habits throughout being pregnant

A 12 months in the past, Olympique Lyon girls’s staff coach Sonia Bompastor stated Progress desirous to be “exemplary” in managing Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir, the primary lively participant within the historical past of the membership to present delivery to a baby, November 16, 2021: “This can be a nice first time for us, however I used to be very clear about this with the membership: we’ve to steer by instance. That is necessary as a result of she shall be returning with a number of months outdated child and she or he must be calm on this state of affairs.” In response to a prolonged discussion board posted Tuesday on the positioning Gamers Tribune by the 32-year-old midfielder, now at Juventus, she was actually unsettled throughout her being pregnant, resulting from a dispute with OL.

Throughout a break from work from April 2021, Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir did certainly study from Iceland that she was now not receiving her full wage from her employer. “I had no motive to suppose something would go flawed, however I solely acquired a small share of Social Safety,” she explains. I known as my agent and he wrote to Vincent Ponsot [le directeur du football de l’OL]. At first he did not get a solution, then after official letters, Vincent apologized for 2 months of wage that I missed. He instructed us that they’d pay me for them, however not from the third month, explaining that it was French regulation. »

“I felt misplaced, careworn and betrayed”

The goalscorer of Lyon’s 2020 Champions League remaining victory in opposition to Wolfsburg (3-1) then turned to FIFPRO (Worldwide Federation of Soccer Commerce Unions), citing new FIFA rules. She says she was deeply disenchanted by the perspective of Vincent Ponsot and OL: “I did not anticipate that, particularly from a membership like this. We did not get any extra response, months glided by and I nonetheless did not get my full wage with no clear response from OL concerning the standards used. Proceed:

When my agent instructed Vincent Ponsot that FIFPRO was going to battle it at FIFA stage, he replied: “If Sara goes to FIFA with this, there isn’t a future at Lyon.” I used to be simply shocked and harm. How might a membership like OL get away with it? This must be the happiest second of my life. I simply wished to take pleasure in my being pregnant and work onerous to come back again and assist the staff and the membership. However as a substitute I felt misplaced, careworn and betrayed. »

Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir additionally accuses Jean-Michel Aulas, whom she noticed once more in January 2022 when she returned to coaching with the staff: “It was the primary time he noticed me since I got here again with my little Ragnar. He did not even greet me or have a look at Ragnar. From that time on, it turned clear to the president that this had develop into a private difficulty.” And the participant had solely made six appearances for Lyon when she returned for the second half of final season.

OL needed to pay €82,000 in unpaid wages

In Could 2022, the membership acquired an order from the FIFA soccer courtroom to pay him unpaid remuneration within the quantity claimed by the Icelander, i.e. 82,000. euro. “FIFA said that the membership had no contact with me throughout my being pregnant,” she stated. Nobody actually watched me, adopted me, noticed how I used to be doing mentally and bodily, each as an worker and as an individual. Mainly, the membership had an obligation to take care of me and so they did not. I used to be entitled to full pay throughout my being pregnant and till the beginning of my maternity depart, in accordance with relevant FIFA guidelines. It’s a part of my rights and can’t be questioned even by a giant membership like Lyon. »

Having obtained their justification, OL didn’t enchantment in opposition to this choice. Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir concludes: “I need to be sure that nobody ever goes by means of what I went by means of once more. And I would like Lyon to know it isn’t proper. It is not “simply enterprise”. It is about my rights as a employee, a girl and a human being. There’s nonetheless numerous work to be executed forward of ladies’s soccer. We deserve higher.”

Megan Rapinoe very upset together with her former membership

OL responded in a press launch on Tuesday evening recalling that “it has all the time been a pioneer in girls’s soccer and has supported athletes at each stage of their lives.” On this sense, he depends on one other of his gamers, Amel Majri, who additionally turned a mom in July final 12 months and prolonged it along with his coaching membership till 2026.

Now we have all the time revered French regulation, which we generally discovered too restrictive in these issues. That is why we have all the time campaigned to extend participant safety at these factors. Now we have executed all the pieces we are able to to help Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir in her motherhood in addition to her return to the best stage. In latest months, FIFA has determined for the primary time to ascertain a authorized framework for footballers who should expertise motherhood throughout their careers, which we’re delighted about. FIFA is now criticizing us for not providing Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir one other job whereas she was on sick depart after which maternity depart, whereas on the identical time the regulation in France forbids us and the participant particularly requested us to return to dwell in Iceland, which we accepted . »

OL concludes: “We’re proud to have included Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir within the Olympique Lyonnais squad. Our paths parted for purely sporting causes. However, since Tuesday night, criticism of OL has been mounting for the humane administration of the primary being pregnant in its historical past within the staff of European champions eight instances since 2011. Ladies’s world soccer icon Megan Rapinoe, who performed for OL from 2013 to 2014, launched on Twitter : “It’s very disgraceful of OL. You like to speak about how a lot you help girls, however these counts aren’t counts. Please be a membership that continues to help girls, not a membership that was. One other very troublesome week for Olympique Lyonnais and Jean-Michel Aulas.

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