PtG Article 19.09.2011

Play the Game is about passion, politics, money ... and sources in abundance

Why spend time and money on attending Play the Game conferences in person? A journalist and an academic explain why they are coming back for their fifth Play the Game conference.

Two Play the Game veterans who will be returning for their fifth consecutive Play the Game conference this October are very clear when asked about the value of the conferences:

They look forward to hearing leading world experts debate unique perspectives on sport, and they treasure the opportunity to strengthen strong networks of sources that have already proven very useful for them in their respective capacities as a journalist and an academic writing about sport.

Ezequiel Fernández Moores

, sports editor of the Latin American desk for the Italian news agency ANSA in Buenos Aires and columnist for La Nación, one of the main papers in Argentina and Latin America.

What makes Play the Game conferences valuable to you in your work?"I live in Buenos Aires where we are very far from everything, so for me Play the Game reduces the distance. Sources are very important in journalism, and for us Play the Game is a fantastic source. More importantly, Play the Game gives us the chance to meet and debate about sport in terms that are practically impossible in journalism today. In general, the media do not care about corruption and the social impact of sport. The majority just care about spectacle."

Can you give a concrete example of how attending Play the Game conferences has benefitted you?"I have learned a lot about doping and corruption. And whenever I need to write about these issues, I have my Play the Game sources that can help me. We have the tendency to believe that what happens in our country is special, but in Play the Game we have a global vision and we learn that the problems of sport are more or less the same. That the battle between the sharks of the spectacle and the interest of the people is the same everywhere whether in the First and in the so-called Third World."

Why would you recommend attending Play the Game to others?"Because we need to open our minds. To see that there are a lot of journalists who are working hard on showing that sport is not just business and spectacle. That if we want, sports give us lots of opportunities to explain how the world works. We have everything in sport. Passion, politics, money, nationalism...and Play the Game is full of this."


Dr. Declan Hill

, academic, investigative journalist and author of the bestselling book ‘The Fix’ about international match-fixing in football

What makes Play the Game conferences valuable to you in your work?"It is an extraordinary opportunity to hear the best and most insightful about the field of sports. Because there is a good range of academics and journalists, it is rarely boring and the subjects presented are hard-edged and controversial, which leads to superb conversations."

Can you give a concrete example of how attending Play the Game conferences has benefitted you?"There is a band of brothers that helped me put together my book 'The Fix' on the international match-fixing in football. At Play the Game, I met a wide range of people from all around the world, so when I had to research obscure points of the Rio de Janeiro gambling world, or Belgian second division matches or Indian cricket bookies, I simply had to reach out to the people I had met at Play the Game and voila!; instant network of like-minded, hard-working researchers."

Why would you recommend attending Play the Game to others?"For all the reasons I summarize above, plus it is usually very well organized and the logistics are easy."


You can meet Ezequiel Fernández Moores and Declan Hill at Play the Game 2011 in Cologne.

Ezequiel Fernández Moores will give his presentation ‘The ball remains the same: The 91 years of reign of Leoz, Grondona and Teixeira’ at the parallel session ‘FIFA under fire’ taking place Thursday morning. Declan Hill will present ‘Match-fixing: the real story’ at the plenary session Monday afternoon putting focus on the threat from match-fixing.

Photos of Declan Hill and Ezequiel Moores: Play the Game/Jens Astrup