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Asian Football Confederation Found Guilty Of Discrimination, Interference, And Denial Of Justice


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he Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has found the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) guilty of discrimination against female candidates, guilty of third-party interference, and guilty of a denial of justice.

Former Maldivian footballer and coach, Mariyam Mohamed, took the case to CAS, citing discrimination and interference with the 2019 AFC elections.

Mohamed was running in the elections for a seat on the executive committee, with the chance to be nominated to the council of the international federation, FIFA.

In her evidence, she said she met with numerous people in a private room at a hotel two days before the election, and was told her to withdraw her nomination or face never working in football again.

Olympic Council of Asia president and former FIFA executive committee member, Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, was one of the people involved in the meeting.

Mohamed was offered a different position at the AFC or FIFA as an incentive to withdraw from the election, which she declined.

She requested that the AFC investigate the matter, however, there was no resolution, and the issue was taken to CAS a few months later.

CAS later described this offer as a “mixture of bribes and threats”.

The confederation, of which Australia is a member, will not receive any fines or punishments after the findings by CAS.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said in a media release the AFC failed to properly investigate the third-party interference.

They also explained how the matters were exempt from punishment.

“The Panel noted that the attempts to influence the 2019 Elections through inducements were not effective, in that Mariyam Mohamed did not withdraw her candidature,” CAS said.

“In that respect, while the Panel found the third-party interference established, it underlined that it did not, in the end, have an effect on the elections,” they said.

This matter comes in a period of rapid growth and increased investments in women’s football.

Over $1 billion has been committed to the women’s game over the next four years and is considered a priority by FIFA.

Australia will be playing a key role to0, as they plan to co-host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup with New Zealand.

Earlier this week the position of chief executive of the organising committee for the tournament has been advertised.

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