The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the outcome of the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) elections, following an appeal made on the grounds of gender discrimination and third party interference.
An appeal was made by Mariyam Mohamed from the Maldives, who sought election to the AFC Executive Committee during the 29th AFC Congress held on April 6 2019 in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
She requested for the results of the election to be annulled for gender discrimination and third party interference, but CAS rejected this, only partially upholding her appeal.
The CAS Panel ruled that the AFC Electoral Committee breached AFC and FIFA statutes by rejecting and/or refusing to investigate a discrimination complaint made by Mohamed in relation to the 2019 elections.
It also stated that the AFC failed to fulfil its obligation to promote the full participation of women in the 2019 AFC elections.
However, it did not uphold Mohamed's call to annul and re-hold the elections, or for an order requiring the AFC to amend its statutes so to comply with its obligations to not discriminate against women, as well as promote women's voices in the governance of sport.
"Considering that the decision complained of by Mariyam Mohamed, being that of the Electoral Commission does not form the basis of an order to annul and re-hold the elections, or of an order to amend that statutes, as that body does not have that competence," read the CAS ruling.
In the second proceedings, CAS ruled that the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee's failure to complete the preliminary investigation of a third-party interference complaint made by Mohamed, resulted in a "denial of justice".
It also declared that the 2019 elections were subject to improper influence, which is against the AFC and FIFA regulations.
With the same reasoning as the first proceedings, CAS rejected an annulment of the results.
The CAS Panel also noted that third party interference was not effective, as Mohamed did not withdraw her candidature.
It ruled that although there was third party interference, it did not have an effect on the elections.
John Boultbee of Australia, Michael Beloff of the United Kingdom and Luigi Fumagalli of Italy were the arbitrators for the case.
Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain was re-elected for a second term as AFC President in 2019.