Iceland captain Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir has said winning a case against former side Lyon for not paying her full wages during her pregnancy is a “red flag” for clubs.
In May 2022, a Fifa court ordered the French side of Lyon to pay unpaid wages of more than 82,000 euros (£72,000).
Players’ union Fifpro called it a “historic” affair.
“It’s not ‘just business’,” said Gunnarsdottir, 32, after the decision was made public on Tuesday.
“It’s about my rights as a worker, as a woman and as a human being.”
Write in the player’s stand, the midfielder, who is now at Juventus, added: “The victory felt bigger than me. It was like a guarantee of financial security for all the players who want to have a child during their career It’s not a “maybe” or an unknown.
“But I want to make sure no one ever goes through what I went through again.”
She also tweeted: “This story is bigger than me! This is a wake-up call for all clubs.”
Gunnarsdottir joined Lyon in 2020 and won two Champions League titles at the club before leaving for Juventus in July 2022.
Since January 2021, Fifa rules state that players are entitled to a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave at two-thirds of their salary.
The player, who became pregnant in early 2021, agreed with Lyon that she would return home to Iceland for the final stages of her pregnancy after doctors told her she had to stop playing football.
Gunnarsdottir said she intended to return to Lyon but found her payments stopped coming in while she was in Iceland.
“I was entitled to my full salary during my pregnancy and until the start of my maternity leave, according to the mandatory regulations of Fifa,” she added.
“It’s part of my rights, and it can’t be challenged, even by a club as big as Lyon.”
Fifpro supported Gunnarsdottir in her request and said: “We are happy to have helped her to obtain the first decision of this type since the entry into force of Fifa’s maternity regulations in January 2021.
“It is extremely important for women’s footballers and women’s football that these mandatory maternity regulations are both implemented and enforced at national level.”
Lyon said they had “put everything in place to support” Gunnarsdottir through her pregnancy and return to top-flight football, but added that they were following French law, which they “sometimes found too restrictive on these matters”.
The club said it was “proud” to have welcomed her to Lyon after maternity leave and to have “separated for purely sporting reasons”.
Lyon are to pay Gunnarsdottir 82,094.82 euros – around £72,139 – plus 5% interest a year from September 10 last year until the debt is cleared.
World governing body Fifa have warned Lyon that if they don’t pay within 45 days of the decision, they will face a transfer ban.