Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, being pregnant and unpaid wages / D1 Arkema / Lyon / SOFOOT.com

Icelandic midfielder Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, the primary OL participant to turn into a mom, talks about her being pregnant punctuated by unpaid wages, whole indifference from employees, and a troubling return to the sport. A daring speech that involves criticize a membership eager to be a forerunner of ladies’s soccer, and reveals that respecting the rights of gamers should systematically undergo private battles.

“This story is past my very own particular person! That is an alarm bell for all golf equipment and a message for all gamers to say that in the event that they turn into pregnant or wish to turn into pregnant throughout their profession, they’ve rights and ensures! » By posting with out warning textual content named “What Occurred After I Received Pregnant” on The Gamers Tribune Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir, the Iceland worldwide with 143 caps and, above all, a former Olympique Lyonnais participant, spins a complete membership that wishes to be a pioneer of ladies’s soccer. And every thing that surrounds him. The midfielder, who was a Rhone membership participant between 2020 and 2022 and introduced her being pregnant in April 2021, denounces the therapy she acquired from OL and doesn’t spare Vincent Ponsot, director normal of soccer.

Child bump and wage dump

“I do know this story will offend many influential individuals on the planet of soccer. However I’ve to inform the reality. Everybody is aware of the picture of my former staff, Lyon. Eight Champions League titles. The most effective gamers from every nation. It is among the most profitable golf equipment in soccer. CEO Jean-Michel Aulas has invested closely within the staff, making honest pay and good participant situations a precedence, in addition to profitable. Till I bought pregnant” , begins the one who left OL for Juventus this summer season. He remembers the enjoyment of getting two strains on the being pregnant check, the stress of getting to announce it to the membership, the choice to tell the staff physician however hold it a secret… Then comes the sport towards PSG, repeated vomiting and an more and more sophisticated coaching session.

“I had no cause to consider something may go unsuitable. Till I get my first wage. » Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir

“I simply advised my teammates that I have been sick for the previous couple of weeks as a result of I am pregnant. » Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir remembers the various reactions within the locker room, from pleasure to real shock, since she turned the primary OL participant to problem herself to turn into a mom after which return to competitors. She additionally explains how she and the board got here to an settlement on the matter “Plan” which concerned permitting her to return house to Iceland to expertise being pregnant surrounded by her family members. “I had a lot to do for some time that I did not have time to assume or fear about my wages on the membership.says a 12 months and a half after child Ragnar was born. I had no cause to consider something may go unsuitable. Till I get my first wage. I solely acquired a small share from Social Safety. I assumed it was a spelling error. However to make certain, I checked with different gamers. They had been paid on time…”

Pinching Ponsot


Then one other wage is lacking. “I referred to as my agent and he wrote to Vincent (Ponsot), the director of the membership. I didn’t obtain a response, so my company took additional motion. Then we despatched official letters. » The latter lastly solutions, apologizes for 2 months unpaid and assures him that it will likely be. However within the third month, the membership hides behind French regulation and makes it clear that they owe him nothing however social safety contributions. Solely three months earlier than the announcement of her being pregnant, FIFA launched new maternity guidelines for skilled gamers. UNFP and FIFPro then helped Gunnarsdóttir take the case to FIFA’s tribunal. And this regardless of the hardly veiled threats Vincent Ponsot made to his agent: “If Sara goes to FIFA with this, she has no future at Lyon. » “This entire scenario is driving me loopywill get upset. How can the staff get out of this? I am in Iceland, I am pregnant. And now I say, “Wait, did I simply lose my job?” This must be the happiest second of my life. I simply wished to take pleasure in my being pregnant and work like loopy to return again and assist the staff and the membership. However as a substitute I felt confused, harassed and betrayed. »

“That they had an obligation to take care of me and so they did not. » Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir

Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir gave beginning to Ragnar in November 2021 and rejoined the staff in January 2022. A staff the place she not appears to be welcome the place she was requested to not convey her child on journeys the place Jean -Michel Aulas doesn’t congratulate the younger mom Vincent Ponsot talks to her about ” enterprise ” when discussing arrears. Simply earlier than leaving OL the place it feels prefer it “no future as a mom” , and even on the sporting degree the place it’s given little consideration, Sara wins the authorized battle along with her membership. OL is compelled to pay €82,000 in again wages, unpaid payments throughout being pregnant and to begin maternity go away, underneath FIFA guidelines. The membership is named to order on this matter “proper to care”, “as a consequence of lack of contact with me throughout being pregnant” : “Nobody actually sorted me, adopted me, noticed how I used to be feeling mentally and bodily, as an worker, but additionally as a human being. In truth, they’d an obligation to take care of me, and so they did not. »

Rapinoe pays Aulas

This success earlier than FIFA “appears like a assure of monetary safety for all gamers who wish to have a baby throughout their profession” . World Gamers Union says “a historic determination” , “the primary of its form because the implementation of FIFA’s maternity guidelines in January 2021.” . And that’s very worrying for a membership like OL who needs to be “precursor of ladies’s soccer and assist for athletes in each interval of their lives” . He instantly drew up a press launch to qualify his former participant’s accusations, which Lyon administration denies “he at all times revered French regulation, which we generally discovered too restrictive in these issues” and denounces the FIFA guidelines that go towards it. She additionally claims to have “All the things was accomplished to assist Sara in her motherhood and return to the very best degree” and remembers that he adopted the identical sample when Amel Majri in flip gave beginning to Maryam.

“OL has accomplished every thing doable to assist Sara in her motherhood and return to the very best degree. » Membership press launch

One other OL being pregnant that appears to be skilled fairly in another way if you happen to consider the testimony of the one who returned to competitors final weekend after a fifteen-month absence and whose day by day life as a mum-player is commonly posted on the membership’s social media media. The critiques despatched in by Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir additionally present a possibility for OL PLAY, the membership’s official channel, to attract an interview three hours later with Amel Majri discussing her return to the pitch after being pregnant. With out going to the sidewalk within the pond erected by a former teammate… “Thanks Amel for selecting to turn into the athlete’s mom after your knee harm and for being with Sonia (Bompastor) and Vincent (Ponsota)cemented the emergence of the distinctive standing of knowledgeable gamer at a really excessive degree by giving beginning to your little Maryam » with out trembling, Jean-Michel Aulas replies to his participant.

As she has not acquired an apology from her former membership and former employees, Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir can depend on normal outrage over her story and the reactions of her former leaders. “It’s very disgraceful on OL’s halfoutraged Megan Rapinoe on her Twitter account, instantly attacking her president, an OL Reign USA competitor. You all prefer to say how a lot you assist girls, however the math is unsuitable. Please be a membership that ALWAYS helps girls, not a membership that was once. » A blow to Aulas and his ambition to steer the ladies’s LFP.

Anna Carreau

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