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Ingrid Stenevik: "No player should have to sacrifice their career to be a mother"

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Ingrid Østervold Stenevik


Norwegian defender Ingrid Stenevik (28) plays for SK Brann Kvinner.

In 2013 she gave birth to her son Lucas and returned to playing at the highest level of women’s football in Norway just one month later.

When I first heard about Sara Bjork’s struggle to get Olympique Lyonnais to uphold the FIFA Maternity Regulations, I thought it was too crazy to be true. Even though being a footballer is a very particular kind of occupation, surely a high-profile club couldn’t deny a woman rights that they would be entitled to in any other line of work?

Then I got mad. This isn’t a small club with part-time players; this is an organisation that has been leading the way in women’s football for a long time. I was so disappointed with their reaction and, honestly, a little terrified that this could have even happened in the first place.

When you feel like you have been living in a society that is learning and developing, and things seem to be slowly but surely looking up, something like this really hits you in the face. You have to take a step back to realise that we’ve got such a long way to go.

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