Professional women footballers are to be guaranteed maternity leave under new rules approved by FIFA on Friday (December 4), the global soccer body's president Gianni Infantino said.
Under the new rules, approved by the decision-making FIFA Council on Friday, a player will be given 14 weeks maternity leave and her club will be obliged to reintegrate her afterwards and provide adequate medical support.
"If we are serious about boosting the women's game, we have to look at all these aspects," Infantino told reporters.
"Female players need to have stability in their careers and if they take maternity leave, they should not have to worry about when they are ready to play again."
The rules will be incorporated into FIFA's regulations on the status and transfer of players and will be enforced worldwide.
Infantino started the virtual news conference with a tribute to Argentine football legend Diego Maradona who died on November 25.
The Council also decided to stage an additional edition of its old-style Club World Cup, featuring seven teams including the champions of each continent, in Japan in 2021.
A new-style tournament, featuring 24 teams, is due to be played in China in 2022, having been put back one year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Infantino also voiced support for an inter-sport agency to tackle sexual abuse in sport, saying it would need the backing of governments because sports federations are limited in their powers to investigate.
The FIFA boss also said the often-criticized video assistant referee system, known as VAR, was a net positive for soccer saying it's "certainly not damaging football," while also noting it has only been in use for two years.