PtG Article 04.04.2024

Who wants to host Play the Game 2025 and 2027? Calling interested partners

Play the Game calls upon potential partners to declare their interest in hosting Play the Game 2025 and 2027, the 14th and 15th editions of the leading independent world conference on international sports politics.

Each of the two conferences is expected to gather 4-500 leading media professionals, academics, athlete representatives, sports officials, NGO activists, sports business executives, and students from all over the world. 

Preferably, the conference will be arranged as a four-day event in the last quarters of 2025 and 2027 (first quarter of 2028 may be considered).

Play the Game is an international conference and communication initiative aiming to strengthen the ethical foundation of sport and promote democracy, transparency and freedom of expression in sport. 

It is run by the Danish Institute for Sports Studies (Idan), a research institution set up by the Danish Ministry of Culture but working with full independence from the government. Idan’s mission is to create an overview of and insight into the field of sport nationally and internationally.

In its more than 25 years of existence, Play the Game has achieved a unique status as the leading independent platform in international sport for open, unrestricted, and constructive debates about the main challenges to modern sport. 

The conference attracts worldwide media attention and connects the host city and country to the highest ethical standards in sport and sports administration. It offers opportunities to raise international issues of local and national relevance, and it helps local journalists, academics, sports officials, and other stakeholders to increase their impact and strengthen their network on a global scale. 

Former host cities are Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Coventry, Cologne, Aarhus, Eindhoven, Colorado Springs, Odense, and Trondheim. Extensive documentation from previous conferences can be found at

A host can be a sports organisation, a city, a media company, a university/education centre, a sports club, or a combination of all. Also, well-organised groups of interested individuals may apply, but applicants must document solid organisational skills and financial capacities.

The local host for each conference is represented on the programme committee and closely informed about or involved in all aspects of the conference planning. 

Depending on interest and co-funding, Play the Game will try to ensure that one of the two conferences is placed in Africa, Asia, or Latin America, in which case the target for the number of participants may be reduced by 20-25%.

Formal requirements

As a first step in the selection process, we kindly ask possible co-organisers to send us a declaration of interest no later than Monday 3 June 2024, at noon CET

We will follow up all declarations of interest with a clarifying dialogue and joint specification of the practical and financial requirement for hosting the conference. If necessary, a formal bidding process will be carried out among the most qualified bids. 

The selection process will be managed by the international director and the head of conference of Play the Game. They will make a recommendation to the board of Play the Game/Danish Institute for Sports Studies, which is expected to make the final decision for the 2025 conference in September 2024 at the latest.

The host for the 2027 conference is expected to be selected around the turn of the year 2024/2025.

In the declaration of interest, candidates are kindly asked to outline:

  • the overall goals and visions for organising the conference, including how hosting can support their own work at the national or international level
  • how the hosts can contribute to the continued development of the content, format, and legacy of Play the Game
  • how the local organising committee will be composed, and which potential partners for funding and programme development it is realistic to involve at the local and national level
  • how much funding is already secured, and the strategy for further fundraising.

With regard to the funding, applicants are kindly asked to consider how they can assume responsibility for covering the costs of primarily

  • rental of an appropriate conference venue and technical equipment
  • flight and ground transportation costs for 35 invited speakers from across the world
  • hotel (3-4 star level) and meals for the invited speakers and for a limited number of Play the Game representatives
  • a social and cultural activity programme
  • a national PR and marketing campaign for the conference
  • subsidies to support travel, accommodation, and conference fees for participants from less privileged countries. 

Play the Game will provide more details on the above requirements. Applicants are welcome to present their ideas about specific conference venues and other aspects of the conference practicalities. 

Please submit your declaration of interest and any questions you may have to Play the Game, att. head of conference Stanis Elsborg at or by mobile +45 61 77 49 15.

Play the Game is grateful for the interest expressed so far in hosting our next conferences, and we look forward to hearing from all potential hosting partners before Monday 3 June 2024.

Previous conferences

By 2024, Play the Game has held 13 conferences in seven countries:

  • 1997: Vingsted, Denmark
  • 2000, 2002 and 2005: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2007: Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 2009: Coventry, United Kingdom
  • 2011: Cologne, Germany
  • 2013 and 2015: Aarhus, Denmark
  • 2017: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
  • 2019: Colorado Springs, USA
  • 2022: Odense, Denmark
  • 2024: Trondheim, Norway

Read more about the previous conferences

Play the Game 2024
Play the Game 2022
Play the Game 2019
Play the Game 2017
Play the Game 2015
Play the Game 2013
Play the Game 2011
Play the Game 2009
Play the Game 2007
Banner for Play the Game 2005
Play the Game 2005
Play the Game 2002
Play the Game 2000
Conference 1997