Sara Gunnarsdottir has criticized OL’s behavior during her pregnancy
In a column published on Tuesday, Sara Gunnarsdottir, former Olympique Lyonnais player (2020-2022), lambasted the behavior of Lyon’s leaders following the announcement of her pregnancy. The Icelander first pointed to the delay in paying wages for the first two months after the start of maternity leave, then lamented that she had not been paid since the third month.
“Vincent (Ponsot) apologized for the two months I was missing and said I would be paid. But for the third month, he said something about those following French law. Which means they owe me nothing more. Dietmar (the agent) keep telling them: “Hey, there is still a missing salary.” But we got no response. The players’ union in France got involved, then Fifpro. Weeks turn months. Still no full paycheck. OL declined to give a firm answer on the criteria applied. Lastly, Dietmar told Vincent that Fifpro would be fighting this at FIFA level. Vincent then said: “If Sara goes to FIFA with this, she has no future at Lyon.” »
“That was the first time he (Aulas) saw me since I came back with my baby. He didn’t even greet me.”
Sara Gunnarsdottir then notes the way the club (poorly) welcomed her son, Ragnar. “I have to be honest, part of me wanted to come to the club and tell everyone how angry I was for what they had done and leave. But I told myself that I would come back and I would do everything at 110%. I said to myself: “I will show them how fit I am.” I’m ready to play. But it didn’t work the way I expected. The training was different when I came back. I am treated differently. »
The midfielder revealed specifically that OL doesn’t really want his baby to go on a professional trip with his mom, and that he will be giving them two “test” trips. Solutions that are not appreciated by interested parties.
The new Juventus player also pointed to the behavior of Jean-Michel Aulas vis-à-vis his son. “The president also came into the room (during meeting with Vincent Ponsot) while I was there. It was the first time he saw me since I came back with my baby. He didn’t even greet me, look at me or greet Ragnar. But Vincent had just convinced me, five minutes before, of the case, that “it’s not personal”. After that moment, with the president, however it was clear this was the case. »
“As a young mother, I have no future with this club”
Gunnarsdottir finally explained how OL broke up with him. ” I he (Vincent Ponsot) asked what he said to Dietmar, about the fact that if I go to FIFA, I will have no future at Lyon. He said he didn’t say that, and it was his coach, Sonia Bompastor, who decided he couldn’t see me as a future player in his team. I’m so tired of all these bickering… It is clear that, whatever one may say, the main thing was there: as a young mother, I have no future with this club. »
In May, Sara Gunnarsdottir received a ruling from FIFPRO, which condemned OL to pay all of her wages.
OL reacted to the text published by his former player with a press release. The club claims to have “Always a pioneer of women’s football and supporting athletes at all times of their lives”. Lyon claims to have “Everything was done to support Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir as a mother, and her return to the highest level” : “At her request, we agreed to allow her to take maternity leave in Iceland, her country of origin. When she returned to France, following the birth of her son, we did everything to promote her back to the top level in conditions that would allow her to live her new life as a mother to the best of her ability, as well as her return to competition. , thanks in particular for the continued accompaniment, as we did that time with Amel Majri. This subject is very close to our hearts and we are proud to have accompanied her in the last few months of her pregnancy right up until her return to the court against Soyaux, also allowing her to travel with her daughter and nanny. »
Lyon believes that the dispute with their players is explained by legal differences between French law and FIFA regulations: “FIFA is now criticizing us for not offering Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir another job during her sick leave and then her maternity leave, while at the same time the law forbade us to do so in France and the player strictly asked us to be able to do so. to return to live in Iceland, which we have accepted. We are proud to have included Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir in the Olympique Lyonnais squad. Our paths separated for purely sporting reasons. If she wants to help us today to further develop French law, we would be happy to involve her in our efforts with Amel Majri to allow all athletes to fully experience their pregnancy, as well as their return to competition. »