July 4 – There are still some tickets left for the World Football Forum later this week (July 7-8) in Paris. The two-day meeting opens Thursday with an iSportconnect Directors’ Club and WFF Cocktail Reception. Conference sessions are on Friday at the Hotel du Collectionneur.
Editorial focus for the event is the ‘new geography of football’, with an emphasis on the emerging markets of China and India and a broad range of speakers from across the commercial landscape of football internationally.
China has hit the headlines with its major football investments and a strong Chinese contingent will include Ma Guoli, Vice Chairman, Le Sports, which has been a market leader in shaking up the broadcast sector in China based on its acquisition of football rights.The Indian market situation is slightly different.
The second largest country in the world, by population, is dominated by cricket with football barely registering in the professional sports landscape. That is changing slowly with the launch of the Indian Super League along a similar model to cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL).The All India Football Federation (AIFF) is now at the point of accelerating that growth with the integration of the ISL with the pre-existing I-League, though creating this new structure for Indian football is not without teething problems.
Kushal Das (pictured), General Secretary, All India Football Federation and Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League, will both be in Paris to discuss the progress and process of integration and whether what we are seeing is the awakening of what could potentially become a football giant.
The World Football Forum, organised by Eventica, will also host a Russian football federation delegation and key representatives of the Russia 2018 organising committee. More details of their attendance are to be announced but they will be present to update delegates on the progress of the preparations for the 2018 World Cup, starting along that path with the Confederations Cup next year.
Speakers for WFF 2016 include:
Adrian Bevington, Director of Communications 2005 – 2010; England Managing Director 2010 – 2014, English FA
Manish Bhasin, Sports Journalist and BBC Presenter
Cai Yanjiang, Director of Sports, ABU
Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Enterprise, Salford University
Michael Cunnah, Chairman, iSportconnect; former CEO, Wembley Stadium
Kushal Das, General Secretary AIFF (All India Football Federation)
Sunando Dhar, I League CEO
Mark Dreyer, Founder, China Sports Insider
Guy-Laurent Epstein, Marketing Director, UEFA
Fu Qiang, Executive GM, China Fortune Football Club
Mark Goddard, General Manager, FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS)
Khalifa Al Haroon, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, Qatar Stars League
Iain Hume, star player, ISL team Atlético de Kolkata
Peter Hutton, CEO, Eurosport
Seema Jaswal, Sports Anchor, Indian Super League 2015, Star India
Laurence Kemball-Cook, Founder and CEO, Pavegen
Richard Lamb, International Business Director, Inter Milan
Ma Guoli, Vice Chairman, Le Sports
Misha Sher, Head of Sports, MediaCom
Mushtaq Al-Waeli, Executive Director, Josoor Institute, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Qatar
Wang Dong, Vice President, Ali Sports
Mike Wragg, Global Head of Research, Repucom
Zhang Xing, Deputy Controller, CCTV Sports
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