The World Football Summit, the biggest event in the football industry is landing in Africa for the first time. Photo: Supplied
The World Football Summit, the biggest event in the football industry is landing in Africa for the first time. Photo: Supplied

Top brass for World Football Summit in Durban

By Sports Reporter Time of article published Feb 17, 2020

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Durban will welcome some of the most high-profile directors in world football to the city next month.

From France to Argentina to various African nations, football’s decision-makers are coming to town to share their expertise and to offer an insight into their daily challenges and accomplishments.

They’ll be doing so at the inaugural World Football Summit Africa, to be held at the Durban International Convention Centre on March 17 and 18.

Just as with every other World Football Summit event, with previous editions having been held in Madrid and Kuala Lumpur, professionals from a range of backgrounds in the football industry will meet in one place for two days of networking, talks, workshops and more.

The speakers boast a wealth of experience on the main topics currently affecting the football industry, from digital change to the structure of competitions to “sportainment” and fan engagement. Excitingly, there will be nine club directors from six different countries across three continents who’ll be up on the stage sharing their thoughts and opinions.

Former Argentina international and current Estudiantes chairman Juan Sebastiá* Verón will be there to speak about the Argentine and South American football scene.

He will also be able to offer unique insight on stadium redevelopment, given that Estudiantes recently reopened their Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi and were awarded the EDGE Environmental Certification of sustainable construction, granted by the International Financial Corporation of the World Bank.

It’s the first stadium in the world to receive this special certification.

Laurent Colette, the general director at Olympique Marseille, works 10,000 kilometres away from Veró* , yet he too will be in the same building in Durban to share stories from his day-to-day operations in charge of a Champions League-calibre club. Given that Olympique Marseille have a unique connection with Africa, having opened academies on the continent and having identified African fans as a priority, Colette’s insight will be particularly eye-opening.

Logically, there will be several directors from South African clubs who’ll be able to discuss the specific challenges that their institutions face. From Durban-based Premier Soccer League side AmaZulu FC, the CEO Lunga Sokhela will be in attendance. Pitso Mosimane, the current head coach of Mamelodi Sundows, and Maximilian Grunewald, the general manager of Cape Town City FC, will also be speaking, as will Janine van Wyk, the South African women’s national team captain and the founder of JVW Football Club, a women’s team based in Gauteng.

“We’re going to have attendees and people who are working in clubs, in federations, in leagues, in companies, with sponsors who link their brand to the football industry, in law firms, in sports tech start-ups and in projects linked to the football and sports industry,” World Football Summit director Jan Alessie explained. 

IOL Sport

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