The 12th Dubai International Sports Conference has again brought together an exceptional group of influential and innovative professionals in all areas of world football, to share their expertise and experience during two days of workshops and presentations.
The Conference kicked off on Wednesday at Madinat Jumeirah and over 300 delegates discussed and debated key topics which impact the future of football, both regionally and globally.
The theme of the Conference is ‘Modern Investment in International Football’, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino heads the list of the distinguished group of chairmen, directors, referees, agents, players and coaches who will discuss and debate key topics which impact the future of football both regionally and globally.
In the first session on Wednesday, Javier Tebas Medrano, President of La Liga, Eric Wynalda, candidate for the presidency of the US Soccer Federation and Marco Brunelli , CEO of Serie A, discussed discuss Best Practice in Professional Football Leagues.
Addressing the globalization of the game and the changes in match schedules, Medrano said: “A Real Madrid fan in China is just as important as a Real Madrid fan in Madrid. We need to increase exposure worldwide.”
In conversation: Brunelli.
In the second session Diego Simeone – Coach of Atletico Madrid, was joined by Hector Cuper, Coach of the Egypt national team, and Fabio Capello, Coach of Jiangsu Suning FC to discuss Investing in the Youth Sector.
Cuper, who has guided Egypt to the World Cup after 28 years, said: “The Egyptian players are very humble. It comes down to education and the system, I like it a lot, they have more respect.”
The first day concluded with Ferran Soriano, the highly innovative CEO of Manchester City; Vadim Vasilyev – AS Monaco Vice President; and Umberto Gandini – AS Roma CEO, addressing the Economic Impact of Football.
Gandini discussed the approval of plans for the development of a new stadium for AS Roma, said: ‘This marks an exciting period for the club, we are performing well on all fronts, and this is a positive chapter for the club.”
Soriano, speaking about the evolution of the game, the growing digital presence and the recent partnership with Amazon, said: “We need to innovate, it’s trial and error. It’s worth taking the risk. It’s going to be spectacular”.
Soriano talks in Dubai.
The program for day two (Thursday) will see Marcello Lippi – Coach of China, join Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina, and top international referee Felix Brych to discuss Football Development and the Impact of Technology.
Legendary players Francesco Totti and Carles Puyol, along with one of the UAE’s best players Ismail Matar, will then discuss Investment Strategies for Players – During and Post Career. In the final session of the Conference, FIFA President Gianni Infantino will address the Future of Investment in Football.
The Conference is held under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and is organised by Dubai Sports Council under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Dubai Sports Council.
The Conference was established to bring together the leaders in all areas of football to share their knowledge and ideas.
HE Saeed Hareb with Diego Simeone.
And in a fitting conclusion to the Conference, the prestigious and highly anticipated Dubai Globe Soccer Awards will be staged on December 28, recognising the best performances of the season from players, coaches and administrators.
The Awards will this year will be presented in 13 categories. The nominees are selected by the Globe Soccer Jury of international footballing coaches, directors and chairmen, and again includes the cream of world soccer vying for the honour of being named the best in the world in their field.
A special Dubai Globe Soccer Award was presented on Wednesday, ahead of the ceremony on Thursday night. Diego Simeone received the Master Coach Special Award, in recognition of his remarkable results in guiding Atletico Madrid to winning La Liga and reaching two Champions League finals.