Dubai gets set for end-of-year sporting symposium

Fernando Santos, Samuel Eto’o and Gianni Infantino are just some of the famous faces that will be in attendance at the latest iteration of Dubai’s sporting extravaganza. Words by Gruffudd Owen

Dubai will once again welcome some of the most prominent and well-respected figures in world sport to the city at the end of December with the staging of the 11th Dubai International Sports Conference.

The annual two-day event is held as part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, with a focus this year on governance in modern football.

With plenty of topics up for consideration – good governance in football, video refereeing experimentation and player management to name but a few – attendees will be able to hear the opinions of a whole host of football personalities, from high-profile administrators to those who ply their trade on the pitch.

Highlights on the first day of the conference will include elite referees Mark Clattenburg, Nicola Rizzoli and Ali Hamad discussing the use of video technology in football, moderated by former match official Pierluigi Collina.

Fernando Santos – mastermind of Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph – will open proceedings on day two along with Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery and veteran Italian coach Fabio Capello by debating the role of coaches in football integrity, while FIFA president Gianni Infantino and CONCACAF chief Victor Montagliani close the summit with a talk on a topic entitled ‘The importance of governance in the success of international and continental football bodies’.

There will also be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the sport’s biggest names at the Globe Soccer Awards Ceremony, which takes place at the same time as the conference.    

First held in 2006, the conference is a major event in the Dubai sports calendar, attracting leading figures from the world of sport.