PtG Article 06.10.2017

State prosecutors from Brazil and France among top speakers at Play the Game 2017 - detailed programme ready

More than 150 speakers are heading for this fall’s Play the Game conference. Dive into the extensive schedule and start planning your conference participation now.

The state prosecutors whose cooperation led to the temporary arrest of Carlos Nuzman, head of the Rio 2016 Olympics, and who continue to investigate an extensive network of international sports leaders, Fabiana Schneider from Brazil and Jean-Yves Lourgouilloux from France, will be among the new top speakers to share knowledge and experiences at Play the Game 2017.

Also the president of the Association of Olympic Summer Sports Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti, and the destituted chair of FIFA’s ethics committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, are among those who make their first appearance at a Play the Game conference.

Around 150 speakers are now confirmed to appear over three and a half day, from 26-30 November in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. And more are expected to join in the weeks to come.

Play the Game 2017 is proud to present the full preliminary programme with detailed information about speakers and presentations. This year’s programme boasts more than 40 sessions addressing essential subjects in world sport in need of debate.

Download programme

In the opening session, WADA President Craig Reedie will share his thoughts on how the anti-doping movement can move on from present crisis. The pulse of today’s sports governance will be taken by Dr. Arnout Geeraert, who will present the initial findings of the National Sports Governance Observer project  - and the discussion on how to benchmark national sports federations after the welcome reception offered by the City of Eindhoven.

In the other of the evening’s two main sessions, the sensitive topic of sexual abuse in sport will be raised by victims, researchers, sports and media representatives.

Anti-doping and good governance

With presentations from IAAF AIU chairman David Howman, IOC member Richard W. Pound, Francesco Ricci Bitti and the two prosecutors, the plenary session on Monday morning sets the scene for a day focusing especially on the theme of good governance.

The many current reform processes in sport will be subject to a qualified debate with when a long line of experts get together in a plenary session on Monday afternoon. Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, IOC’s Secretary of the ethics committee and Jesper Møller, chairman of the Danish FA, will be speaking from an institutional point of view which will be complemented by other perspectives stemming from ex-chair of the FIFA ethics committee Hans-Joachim Eckert, Stanislas Frossard, EPAS director, and others.

Mega-events and anti-doping reform

One of Tuesday’s main focuses is mega-events and Play the Game is happy to be able to welcome back renowned economist Wladimir Andreff, who will speak about the economy in relation to budgeting for mega-events, Brazilian Raí Oliveira will speak on his experiences of legacy after the Rio Games and Jules Boykoff will discuss the recent uptick in anti-Olympics activism and share activist viewpoints on possible changes in hosting mega-events.

In a session with the future of anti-doping at the centre, Richard H. McLaren, author of the reports bearing his name on Russian state doping, and Hajo Seppelt, the journalist behind the ARD documentaries, will be in a panel a long side with Travis T. Tygart from USADA, Benjamin Cohen from WADA and Joseph de Pencier from the iNADO institute.

Crime, grassroots and esports

Recent years have seen a growing number of criminal investigations being launched into sports. In a session on the conference’s last day, cases involving player transfers, TPO, tax evasions and various other cases will be discussed when journalists and stakeholders meet to debate the state of professional sport. Among others, conference participants will meet the Spiegel-journalists organising the international “Football Leaks” cooperation.

Grassroots sport and global policies advocating a healthier lifestyle as well as better governance in sports in general are among the issues when the recently adopted Kazan Action Plan is the subject of a session featuring presentations from Bob Munro from Mathare United, as well as UNESCO representatives and others.

Esports is the topic of the concluding session of Play the Game and in this session that discusses challenges and opportunities of having/being a new player on the traditional sports scene, Alex Lim, general secretary of the International eSports Federation, presents the organisation’s overall strategy for the sport. Ian Smith from the eSports Integrity Coalition will lay forward his views on the ethical challenges and on what kind of organisational work lies behind the formalisation of an emerging sport.

Esports lawyer Anna Baumann will look at the subject from a legal perspective while sports philosopher Ian van Hilvoorde will provide an overview of the overarching cultural trends in society that have set the scene for esports.

There are thirty sessions more in the programme covering a wide range of topical issues in sport from fan engagement, big data, sports journalism, diversity in sport, mixed martial arts, match-fixing, various angles on good governance and much more.

In more than 40 sessions, around 150 speakers will present their thoughts and opinions on a wide range of the most topical questions in world sport during the tenth Play the Game conference, taking place in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, 26-30 November 2017.Discover the programme and the continuously updated speakers list.Sign up now and secure yourself four days densely packed with debates, discussions and networking between experts and professionals from sport, media and academia.Read more and register

Note 7 October 2017: In an earlier version of the article it said that Jules Boykoff is a member of the NOlympics, which he is not. The article has been edited accordingly.