FIFA plans to introduce a series of measures to protect pregnant footballers including mandatory maternity leave “of at least 14 weeks”, the sport’s world governing body announced on Thursday.

“We want to see more women play football but in the same time have a family,” Sarai Bareman, FIFA’s chief women’s football officer, explained to journalists.

The body said it would put a series of reforms forward for approval by the FIFA Council next month, making them immediately applicable across all of its 211 member federations.

The mandatory 14-week maternity leave would see players guaranteed a minimum two-thirds of their contracted salary, while FIFA indicated a wish to make it harder for clubs to part company with pregnant players, saying “no female player should ever suffer a disadvantage as a result of becoming pregnant”.

“The idea is to protect female players before, during and after child birth,” said Emilio Garcia, FIFA’s chief legal and compliance officer.

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