Securing Sport 2013 opens in Doha

Doha, Qatar; 18 March 2013: Securing Sport 2013, the leading international sport security and integrity conference hosted by the ICSS, opened today in Doha with over 400 international delegates.

Experts and stakeholders came together to share knowledge and best practice in sport, safety, security and integrity under the theme of “Advancing the security and integrity of sport to safeguard the future”.

The conference opened with a signing between the ICSS and the Qatar Football Association. Signed by ICSS President Mohammed Hanzab and His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, QFA President, the agreement states that the ICSS and QFA will cooperate to advance leadership capacity-building in football in Qatar, as well as safety and security planning, capabilities and infrastructure.

A Letter of Understanding between The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) Through the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security and the ICSS was also signed.

ICSS President, Mohammed Hanzab, then highlighted the achievements of the ICSS over the past 12 months, including the ISS-Sorbonne Programme, the cooperation with the World Bank and the launch of the ICSS Journal. He reflected on the organisation’s rapid growth over the last two years and thanked all those working with the ICSS for helping to safeguard the future of sport. He said:

“This must start from an honest and collective reflection on the shadows affecting sport safety, security and integrity today and on its future challenges. Who loves sport does not deny its problems, but we must work together to identify and enforce long-lasting solutions.”

Today’s proceedings included:

• A keynote speech by Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace at the United Nations on The Power of Sport to Erase Discrimination

• A panel session on Advancing the International Community to Safeguard the Future with H.E. Brigadier Dahlan Al-Hamad, Vice President, International Association of Athletics Federation and President, Qatar Athletics Federation and Denis Oswald, Judge at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

• Moya Dodd, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Vice President and Director at the Football Federation Australia discussing the importance of security-related media planning for international events

• An examination of whether sport federations are equipped to run their own match-fixing investigations with Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO, European Professional Football Leagues and John Abbott, Chairman, Integrity in Sport Initiative, INTERPOL.

Honey Thaljieh, Palestinian Women’s Football Player, said: “Sport is about fair play. Sport is for all and everybody has a right to play. Religion, background, race or gender should not matter. We need to change perceptions that women who play sport are tomboys. The women’s national football team in Palestine was a key factor in promoting the role of women in Palestine. If you give women a chance and if governments and leaders a chance, then that will be ok.”

Mr Denis Oswald, IOC Member and President of ASOIF and FISA, said: “Sport is doing what it can but it needs the support of government and public organisations. International sporting bodies do not have the power for prosecution. Only a structured exchange of knowledge in this area and joint global effort will produce results.

He added: “One of the big issues is the problem of international regulation and legislation. Most countries were taken by surprise by internet betting and were not prepared. Legislation in this area is missing in many countries and where there is legislation, it is different from country to country. Organisations need to work together to try and unify legislation.”

The day concluded with the panel session Elite Sport at a Cost: Is Sport Protecting its Elite at the Expense of its Integrity?with Bill Bock, General Counsel, U.S Anti-Doping Agency, Sylvia Schenk, Senior Advisor for Sport, Transparency International and Richard Caborn, Former UK Minister for Sport.

Key sessions on the second and final day [19 March] of Securing Sport 2013 include:

• Triple Threat! The Future of Sport Security and Technology with Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government

• The Internationalisation of Betting – Keeping Ahead of the Curve with Andrew Cunningham, Global Head of Integrity, Bet fair and Chris Eaton, Director of Sport Integrity, ICSS

• Brazil + Russia in the Spotlight with Colonel Nelson Garcia, International VP, International Association of Chiefs of Police and Chief of the Intelligence Centre of the Military Police of Brasilia, Jorge Barbosa Pontes, Security International Relations Manager, Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee and Sergey Pryadkin, President, Russian Premier League. —- By Will Shand, from Doha, Qatar.

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