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FIFPro is very concerned about a recent decision by a Venezuelan football tribunal that a club had the right to dismiss a player because she became pregnant.

The tribunal ruled that the club, Flor de Patria, legally ended its contractual agreement with 24-year-old professional footballer Rayveliz Hernandez (pictured).

Flor de Patria, based in Trujillo, was champion of the Venezuelan women’s league in 2016. Hernandez was dismissed and instructed to return her club kit after telling the team’s male coach she was pregnant last year.

FIFPro believes that the subsequent decision by the tribunal (the Venezuelan federation’s dispute resolution chamber) sets an unacceptable precedent for women’s football.

Football regulations relevant to the women’s game on issues including pregnancy have not been developed on a global basis.

FIFPro is keen to continue working with other stakeholders to draw up proportional rules which prevent this kind of decision.

As women’s football develops rapidly, it is important that the legal infrastructure of the women’s game keeps pace.

In a written ruling, the Venezuelan federation tribunal said that Hernandez should only be paid outstanding remuneration owed to her by the club until the point when she became pregnant.

It was “indisputable that because the player was pregnant, she could not fulfil the terms of her contract, and therefore the contract should be considered terminated,” the ruling said.

In contrast to the football tribunal ruling, Venezuelan law protects female workers and it is illegal to fire a woman worker for becoming pregnant.

Hernandez has been receiving legal assistance from national player association, the Asociación Única de Futbolistas Profesionales de Venezuela, which is a FIFPro member.