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Women working in sports law meet at first Asian WISLaw seminar!

The first-ever Women in Sports Law (WISLaw) meeting in Asia took place on Thursday, April 12 on the sidelines of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Amman, Jordan.

WISLaw is an international, non-profit association based in Switzerland aiming at promoting women in the sports law sector, through scientific and networking events, annual meetings and annual reports. It is an association of a group of women from different parts of the world specialising in sports law. One of the primary aims of WISLaw is to bring women in the sports law sector together through regular educational and networking events.

Honorary President of WISLaw Moya Dodd introduced the aims of the organisation to the participants who work in various areas of the game and come from Australia, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Dodd noted that WISLaw also provides visibility for women working in sports law, “There are plenty of extremely qualified women working in sports law but they are often invisible,” she said.

The participants were provided with a summary of the legal framework which forms the basis of all AFC competitions, including the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan. Procedures and processes at the AFC disciplinary level were covered, as well as at the appeal level, along with briefly discussing CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The judicial bodies involved and the disciplinary decision-making process at competitions were also introduced.

The list of various regulations and guidelines relevant to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup include the competition regulations, safety and security regulations, competition operations manual, the rights protection programme, anti-doping regulations, disciplinary and ethics code.

Key legal issues connected to running AFC competitions were discussed, such as marketing and broadcasting matters and the importance of striking a balance and meeting the sponsors’ requests when possible in order to promote the game, especially the women’s game.

Details concerning match commissioners’ reports when highlighting regulation breaches were discussed, as well as the importance of providing legal support to women working in football. While players in some countries do have players’ unions, a legal support network is often missing for people working in other roles in the game.

Different ways to support women working in sports law and to promote them for higher positions were explored. The participants agreed that this should include spreading information of WISLaw among the AFC Member Associations.

Specific legal issues that arise usually only in women’s competitions were brought up and the need to raise awareness of these issues. Some actions could include education and awareness-raising. With grave concerns that can arise in the game, such as abuse cases that have come to light recently in global sport, verifying that robust procedures to combat these potential threats are in place was mentioned as vital.

For more information, visit the WISLaw website: https://www.wislaw.co .

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