Italian Olympic chief backs volleyball player in pregnancy compensation row

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 11 2021 06:34 AM

Italian National Olympic Commitee (CONI) president Giovanni Malago reacts during a press conference after the Milan/Cortina d'Ampezzo 2026 Winter Olympics candidate city was elected to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games during the 134th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Lausanne on June 24, 2019. Fabrice Coffrini, AFP

MILAN, Italy - Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) president Giovanni Malago on Wednesday offered his support to a volleyball player whose former club wants her to pay compensation after becoming pregnant.

Lara Lugli, 41, revealed on Facebook how her contract with Serie C club Pordenone, based near Udine, was terminated in March 2019 when she became pregnant. 

She later suffered a miscarriage and did not return to the club.

Two years later, Lugli received a summons to appear in court, as the club sought compensation from their former captain for breach of contract.

They claimed she had not stated her intention to have children and that her pregnancy had an impact on results and loss of sponsors.

It followed a financial request from the player for the payment of her final month's salary, amounting to 1,000 euros ($1,192), according to Italian press reports.

"A woman, if she becomes pregnant cannot harm anyone and should not compensate anyone for it," Lugli wrote on Facebook.

The club said in a statement said that the summons was intended to "defend" them against the financial demands of the player.

Italian association Assist, which defends sportswomen, called on CONI to improve the status of amateur athletes.

"This case is not unique and does not only concern volleyball, but highlights an unworthy practice," the organization said.

"CONI president Giovanni Malago, had a telephone conversation this morning (Wednesday) with Lara Lugli," the Olympic body said in a statement.

"At the end of the phone call (Malago) expressed all his solidarity with Lara Lugli and invited her for a meeting at CONI."


© Agence France-Presse

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