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FT-AFC Future of Football Summit

Entering a New Era

Doha |
Speakers include:
His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa

His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa

Asian Football Confederation (AFC)

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi

Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

Kushal Das

Kushal Das

All India Football Federation


The State of Qatar has entered into a three-day period of mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani – the former Emir of Qatar and grandfather of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

To ensure we demonstrate the appropriate respect to the people of Qatar, we have taken the decision to cancel the FT-AFC Football Summit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha. While we appreciate this will cause some disruption, we are sure you will join us in offering our sincere condolences to HH the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, at this time.

fallback Add to my Calendar 10/25/2016 08:00:0010/25/2016 18:00:00trueFT-AFC Future of Football SummitThe State of Qatar has entered into a three-day period of mourning following the death of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani – the former Emir of Qatar and grandfather of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.To ensure we demonstrate the appropriate respect to the people of Qatar, we have taken the decision to cancel the FT-AFC Football Summit at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha. While we appreciate this will cause some disruption, we are sure you will join us in offering our sincere condolences to HH the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, at this time.FT-AFC-Future-of-Football-Summit92e99ac968ee737506fc083a1a111833MM/DD/YYYY

Keynotes (2)

His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa

His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa

Asian Football Confederation (AFC)

Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa completed his secondary stage education in the Kingdom of Bahrain at the University of Bahrain where he studied English literature and history, graduating in 1992.

He held many executive posts at the domestic level, as he headed the national teams committee at the Bahrain Football Association (BFA) in 1996. In 1998, he was elected Vice President of the Bahrain Football Association and later became President of the Bahrain Football Association (BFA) in 2002. In 2013, he was named honorary president of the Bahrain Football Association (BFA).

In 2010, he was appointed as a member of FIFA's Technical Development Committee, tasked at improving the quality of football. Shaikh Salman was elected as Vice President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee for the 2009-2012 term, then was re-elected for the next four-year period from 2013 to 2016.

Shaikh Salman has held several positions on the continental and global levels, which included his duties as Chairman of the AFC Disciplinary Committee (2003 – 2009) and Deputy Chairman FIFA Disciplinary Committee (2003 – 2009). He also chaired many disciplinary committees in FIFA and AFC Championships, in addition to attending several sporting events during his tenure at both committees. In May, 2013, Shaikh Salman was elected as the President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and a member of FIFA Executive Committee. In April 2015, he was re-elected as President of the AFC and FIFA Vice President.

In addition to the above, Shaikh Salman currently holds the following positions in FIFA: Chairman of the FIFA Development Committee, Chairman Bureau 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Chairman Emergency Bureau 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Deputy Chairman of the Marketing and the Television Committee, Member FIFA Emergency, Finance, Strategic, Bureau 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia & Organising Committee FIFA World Cup.   

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi

Secretary General
Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi is the Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the organisation responsible for coordinating among public and private Qatari entities to ensure that infrastructure and development projects are delivered in readiness for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. His appointment in March 2011 followed on from his role as Chief Executive Officer in Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee, in which he worked closely with Bid Chairman, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, promoting Qatar’s ultimately successful attempt to bring the FIFA World Cup to the Middle East for the first time.

A lawyer by profession, Mr Al Thawadi previously served as General Counsel for the Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Holding, entities founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to strengthen the national economy by diversifying into new asset classes and growing Qatar’s long-term strategic investments. He holds board positions at key national stakeholders of the Supreme Committee concerned with delivering the 2022 FIFA World Cup, including Katara Hospitality (previously known as Qatar National Hotels – a hospitality owner, manager and developer), Qatar Rail (the owner and manager of Qatar’s rail network) and Qatari Diar (established in 2005 and entrusted to support Qatar’s growing economy through coordination of the country’s real estate development priorities).

In 2013, he was appointed to FIFA’s World Cup Organising Committee (the committee responsible for all matters pertaining to the FIFA World Cup for 2014, 2018 and 2022) as a Special Advisor.

Mr Al Thawadi is a graduate in Law from the University of Sheffield, UK.

Speakers (20)

Kushal Das

Kushal Das

General Secretary
All India Football Federation

A chartered accountant by profession, Kushal Das spent his initial years with various international companies like PwC, Glaxo & Shell. In 1996, he took up the position of Chief Financial Officer with IMG, a global leader in sports marketing and TV production when they made an entry into India. Since then he has over 20 years in sports management and marketing including a position as Chief Financial Officer of the International Cricket Council in Dubai. He took up the position of General Secretary of All India Football Federation (AIFF) in November 2010.

His focus has been grassroot and youth development and to professionalize and improve operational aspects. Developing infrastructure is also a key focus. Currently three AIFF Academies in the age group of 14-18 years are operational. The grassroots programmes have been successfully launched in 8 states. India is hosting the FIFA U17 World cup in 2017 which is expected to be a game changer for the development of football in the country. In 2014, the AIFF along with its commercial partner IMG Reliance launched the first edition of the Indian Super League which was a big success and has brought in the visibility and viewership which Indian football needed so badly. Currently, the focus is also on restructuring the existing leagues to make it a sustainable model as well as developing women’s football.

David Gallop AM

David Gallop AM

Football Federation Australia

David Gallop AM was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Football Federation Australia in November 2012. His tenure since this time has coincided with a period of stability, growth and innovation in Australian football, underpinned by the successful 2015 AFC Asian Cup that saw the Socceroos crowned as the Champions of Asia, Australia’s qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and the Matildas’ inspiring run during the quarter-finals of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

On the domestic front, initiatives include the launch of the Westfield FFA Cup, roll out of the AIA Vitality MiniRoos, Foxtel A-League All Stars, the National Premier Leagues, and sustained growth in Hyundai A-League ratings and crowds. Mr Gallop entered the world of Football with a rich sporting background having been Chief Executive of the National Rugby League for over a decade where he guided the game through its most successful era in terms of crowds, television ratings and commercial success. Prior to this he held the Legal Adviser role to the game, since its inception in 1997. One of the most respected sporting administrators in Australia he was appointed to the restructured Australian Sports Commission in 2008 and served as Deputy Chairman until the end of his term in 2014. A winner of the Australian Sports Administrator of the Year Award (2006) and the NSW Sports Administrator of the Year (2002), he was also the Secretary of the Rugby League International Federation from 1998 to 2011 and currently sits on the Asian Football Confederation Competitions Committee. He was also a member of the Local Organising Committee for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

In 2016, Mr Gallop was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for significant services to sports administration through executive roles with football and rugby league organisations, and to the community. A law graduate and a former first grade cricketer, he is known for a considered approach in dealing with complex issues and for his ability to combine the passion of sport with the realities of a competitive business world.

Winston Lee

Winston Lee

General Secretary
Football Association of Singapore

Winston Lee, the General Secretary of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), today serves as a member on various committees of leading footballing organisations including FIFA, the world football’s governing body and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) where he is currently one of the Vice-Presidents. Mr Lee was headhunted by the FAS Executive Committee (ExCo) in 1999 to provide strategic marketing leadership, operation and infrastructure expertise to the Association and S.League clubs. As the Director of Marketing and Communications, he was focused on shaping the football brands, securing and enhancing sponsorships, organisation and management of international events. In addition, he conceptualised and implemented the full spectrum of corporate-related activities including media relations, corporate communications, strategic management and international relations.

Mr Lee was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the S.League, Singapore’s professional football league, in 2006. Under his stewardship, the professional football league undertook a number of initiatives and was named as one of Asia’s Top 10 Leagues. In April 2008, he was appointed the General Secretary of FAS. Following a series of discussions – spearheaded by Mr Lee and his team– which took place over a year, FAS signed, in February 2015, a $25 million, six-year deal with international sports media rights company MP & Silva. In April 2010, the FAS launched its comprehensive Strategic Plan 2010-2015 which spelt out clearly the Association’s plans and programmes aimed at bringing Singapore football to the next level. The National Football Syllabus was developed as an integral part of the FAS Strategic Plan and incorporates the best practices of the top football nations. The Syllabus, which was endorsed and commended by FIFA and technical staff from top clubs such as Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, is used by all youth and schools’ coaches to train and develop our age-group youth players up to the age of 18.

Mr Lee is often invited by other Member Associations and Clubs in Europe and Asia to share his expertise on how they can improve the various aspects of their domestic football, including areas pertaining to marketing, management, planning and media. In October 2012, he was invited as a speaker at Leaders in Football, an annual conference which offers a series of unique, interactive workshops that are led by the top figures and innovators in the industry. In May 2014, he was one of three speakers who presented the topic “The Future is Asia” at the Soccerex Asian Forum. Mr Lee’s extensive business and football management capabilities, as well as his expertise in strategic market planning, organisational leadership and project management, have been recognized by several organizations worldwide, including FIFA.

Feng Tao

Feng Tao

Co-founder and CEO
Shankai Sports

Feng Tao is the Co-Founder and CEO of Shankai Sports. Shankai Sports was founded in 2009 to connect the international sports world and China. Shankai has been behind major deals that have allowed Chinese companies to showcase their brand to the world by using sport as a platform. For example, Shankai brought Hisense, a Chinese electronics giant, as a global sponsor to the UEFA EURO in France 2016, making it the first ever Chinese sponsor in the 56 year history of the tournament. Shankai was one of three companies that provided advisory services to Wanda Group in its $1.2 billion acquisition of Swiss sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media in 2015 (in the area of market due diligence, the other two companies providing financial due diligence and legal services).

Shankai holds the digital broadcast rights in China to major international competitions, such as the UEFA EURO, and runs a significant outbound sports travel service as the official hospitality provider to large international events such as the FIFA World Cup. Shankai also operates tournaments and events in China on behalf of international rights holders and runs licensed merchandising programs. Mr Feng has over 15 years of sports marketing experience in Asia. Prior to starting his own company he worked at World Sport Group, the leading Asia-Pacific sports marketing agency. He has worked on all commercial aspects of premium sports events including FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, AFC Champions League and Golf China Tour.

Nasser Al Khater

Nasser Al Khater

Assistant Secretary General for Tournament Affairs
Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

Nasser Fahad Al Khater is the Assistant Secretary General for Tournament Affairs with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. Previously he held the title of Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for the same organisation. In early 2015, he was also appointed Deputy CEO of the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee.

Appointed to the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee in 2009, he oversaw both the media element and the impressive marketing campaign that led to Qatar's success in bringing the FIFA World Cup™ to the Middle East for the first time.

Qatar’s 2022 Bid Campaign won and was nominated for a number of prestigious awards, including a Red Dot Award for brand identity, a GWA Award for the technical design and production of the Qatar 2022 Bid Book and a EVA Award for Qatar 2022's groundbreaking Legacy Pavilion. It was also a finalist in the Dubai Lynx and Benchmark Awards for brand identity.

Before joining the Bid Committee, Mr Al Khater worked with Qatari Government agencies in establishing development strategies for small and medium size enterprises and on national leadership development programmes, which led to the establishment of Enterprise Qatar and the Qatar Leadership Centre.

He spent five years at Shell, leading the firm's Intalaqa program - an initiative aimed at fostering entrepreneurship for young Qatari nationals. This followed a five-year career working for international finance giant HSBC.

Mr Al Khater is a graduate of Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Jamie Graham

Jamie Graham

TEAM Marketing

Jamie Graham is the Chief Executive of Swiss-based TEAM, which for 25 years has been the agency exclusively responsible for marketing the media, sponsorship and licensing rights of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, annual competitions that feature the elite of European club football. Mr Graham has 20 years’ experience in sports marketing having joined TEAM as Head of Sponsorship in 2007.  For the past nine years he has been responsible for some of the largest sports sponsorship deals in the world. Previous roles include Managing Director of Sponsorship Intelligence, a subsidiary of global media agency ZenithOptimedia and Senior Vice President at then industry leading sports marketing agency ISL, where he headed the company’s research business in the UK.

Wael Al-Qadi

Wael Al-Qadi

President and Owner
Bristol Rovers FC

Wael Al-Qadi is the President and Owner of Bristol Rovers football club. He took this position after the club’s acquisition in February 2016. In February 2015 he was appointed Executive Board Member for the local organizing committee (LOC) for the FIFA U17 Women¹s World Cup 2016 in Jordan and in April 2014 he was appointed as an Executive Board Member at the Jordan Football Association (JFA).

In 2013 Mr Al-Qadi was appointed as a Board member at Amman FC academy in Amman, Jordan and January 2011 he was appointed Vice Chairman at the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP). Mr Al-Qadi, in 2011 was appointed into the marketing committee at the JFA and from 1991 until the present day, he was been Assistant General Manager at AJIB Bank in Jordan.

Salman Al-Ansari

Salman Al-Ansari

Al-Ansari & Associates

Salman A. Al-Ansari is a Partner at Al-Ansari & Associates. He advises clients on all facets of their operations in the Middle East, from corporate formation, structuring, mergers and acquisitions, finance and securities, to intellectual property, real estate & construction and dispute resolution. He was recently engaged to advise on one of the largest mergers and disputes in the State of Qatar. Before joining Al-Ansari & Associates, Mr Al-Ansari worked at a leading international firm, and as a full-time lecturer of law for three years at Qatar University College of Law.

Mr Al-Ansari also led the restructuring of the football sector in Qatar to create the first players’ union and the first sports-dedicated arbitration institution as part of the progress towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He also advised the Qatar Football Association together with other GCC members’ associations in establishing the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation (AGCFF).

Mr Al-Ansari is ranked as a leading lawyer in corporate and commercial law by Chambers and Partners.

Adrian Bevington

Adrian Bevington

Former England Team Managing Director &
FA Director of Communications

Adrian Bevington has over two decades of senior level football administration, including working at nine senior team international tournaments. During 17 years at the English Federation (1997-2014) he was recognisable as the senior spokesperson for the organisation.

In 2005 at the age of 33, he became the youngest person ever to be appointed FA Director of Communications in the organisation’s history. He became Managing Director of the England National Team structure in 2010. This involved responsibility for all operations, logistics and budgets across 24 men and women’s teams.

On leaving The FA Mr Bevington has established his own Sport & PR consultancy – Adrian Bevington Sport & PR Ltd.

Pierre Cornu

Pierre Cornu

Chairman / Former Chief Legal Counsel for Integrity and Regulatory Affairs

Pierre Cornu currently serves as Chairman of CIES Board. He was born in 1960 and master of law in 1983 (University of Neuchâtel / Switzerland), he passed the bar exam two years later, after a time of practice in a law office. He then worked as an attorney and became an investigating judge in 1987. Elected as the general prosecutor of the canton of Neuchâtel in 1997, he presided over the Swiss Association of Prosecutors and also worked as an expert in Council of Europe projects, in particular about judges’ and prosecutors’ ethics and deontology. In 2011, Mr Cornu joined UEFA as Chief Counsel, Integrity and Regulatory Affairs. Within this frame, he managed UEFA’s disciplinary bodies and set up a network of integrity officers from the national associations and programs for fighting the manipulation of competitions. In August 2012, he returned to Neuchâtel to join the CIES, where he dealt in particular with governance and integrity issues. In 2015, he returned to the justice system and is now a judge at the Court of appeals, still in Neuchâtel.

Mr Cornu has chaired the Swiss Football Association’s disciplinary and control committee from 1993 to 2009, and then the same association’s appeals body from 2009 to 2011. Since 1988, he has Chaired the appeals body of the Neuchâtel region’s football association. He also chaired the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) disciplinary committee from 2008 to 2011 and is a member of this committee again since 2013. Since 2016, he has been the chairman of the CIES Board. He lives in Neuchâtel.

Andrew Cooke

Andrew Cooke

Director of Security Operations
International Centre for Sport Security

A vastly experienced security expert with over 25 years working in multi-disciplinary security, risk management and law enforcement, Andrew Cooke has managed and coordinated major security and investigation operations across a broad range of sport events across the globe. With a track record of leading diverse teams and working with various stakeholders including governments, international federations and security services, he has secured a variety of sports and international events including the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia, as well as working alongside International Sporting bodies such Cricket Australia and Hockey Australia as their Security and Risk Consultant on a global level.

Prior to working in sport, Mr Cooke also had extensive international experience in strategic security, supervising and training teams across an array of security related functions, from Counter Terrorism, Hostage Negotiation, Crisis Management and Close Personal Protection. As Director of Security Operations, he leads the ICSS Safety & Security Operations project team in their work with major sport events, governments and international federations in their security planning, testing, auditing, training and execution.

Philippe Roten

Philippe Roten

Commercial Director EMEIA
TAG Heuer

Philippe Roten is the Commercial Director for EMEIA at TAG Heuer. He has held this position since 2015. From 2011 he has also worked for LVMH Watches and Jewellery. Between the years of 2011 and 2014 Mr Roten was the Global Retail Director and Regional Sales Director Europe for Hublot S.A and then from 2004 to 2011 he worked for Swatch Group Germany.

Before this, from 1999 to 2004, Mr Roten worked for the watch and jewellery retail group of Gübelin Group Switzerland as the Managing Director and was responsible for all brands on the German market. From 1997 to 1999 he was General Manager of Switzerland at Kanebo Cosmetics Europe and before this, he was a Marketing and Brand Manager at Unilever Cosmetics.

Mr Roten holds a degree in Economics and Marketing.

David Davies

David Davies

Partner / Former Executive Director
Tregaron Associates / The Football Association

David Davies served The Football Association in England through 13 often turbulent years as its Executive Director until his retirement in 2006. He worked closely with four England managers - Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and Sven Goran Eriksson - as well as a succession of FA Chairmen. In addition to advising UEFA and FIFA, Mr Davies has worked at every World Cup since 1986, and been employed by football leaders in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North and Central America in the past decade.

He was a founding member of English football’s Anti Racism Campaign ‘’Kick IT Out’’. His early career was spent at BBC Television, and today he is a Sports and Media Consultant with roles in different parts of the world. He was awarded his OBE in 2006 for services to sport including the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cameron Wilson

Cameron Wilson

Founding Editor
Wild East Football

Based in Shanghai, China for over a decade, Cameron Wilson is a leading international commentator on Chinese football and is frequently quoted by the world's top media. A UK-trained journalist, he is founding editor of Wild East Football, the world's leading English language news source on football in China and has written extensively on many aspects of the game's development in the country over the past decade. Fully assimilated into Chinese society via marriage and over ten years of traveling all over the massive country with the fans of Shanghai Shenhua FC, he is a fluent mandarin speaker and offers piercing and resolutely honest insights into the bustling crossroads where football, society, economics and politics meet in contemporary China.

Mr Wilson is a committed believer in football's ability to bring diverse peoples and cultures together and believes the immense power of game should be harnessed as such to benefit human development.

Tom Byer

Tom Byer

Head Technical Advisor
Chinese Ministry of Education

Head Technical Advisor for the Chinese Ministry of Education, Tom Byer gives presentations regarding his groundbreaking technical development initiatives for youth development and how they are being implemented in China. A key part of how he developed his principles for technical development was based on the work he did with his own children. Tom encourages children to get to grips with a football from the earliest age possible. He believes in empowering kids, and that’s exactly what he has done over his multiple years in coaching. As one of the most highly regarded grassroots soccer coaches in the whole of Asia, Mr Byer has dedicated his adult life to giving children the opportunity to play football in the overall vision that the Chinese football market will surely benefit from it in the future.  In the past, he has been cited as a major development influence by Asian soccer stars such as Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Japanese Women’s captain Aya Miyama.

Mr Byer has since become a key figure in the re-development of youth football in China, with his main target being to change the attitude to youth football and grassroots in particular. He helped launch the China School’s football project, with the aim being to give every child in China a chance to get familiarised with the game of football. He aims to develop young talent in China that will eventually ensure the Chinese Super League decreases the need for spending power, with more young talent coming through the ranks.

With the rapid rise of the Chinese Super League in terms of financial power, the worry for Chinese football in the long term is how they can build a suitable platform for the Chinese game to develop without continuing to tempt elite European club players with large wage packages.  As well as the target of building a sustainable Chinese League, the development initiatives also seek to create more young for the national side. With China sitting at 81st in the FIFA World Rankings, the need for change at grassroots is imperative. For a country that boasts the biggest population on the globe, it's football ranking does not reflect this. Change is needed from grassroots level in order to nurture the young talent and develop the stars of tomorrow into international players. Mr Byer is at the forefront of this mission, and hopes to make a difference in the development of the Chinese youth.

Nguyen Hoang Phuong

Nguyen Hoang Phuong

Football for All in Vietnam

Nguyen Hoang Phuong is the Director for Football for All in Vietnam. He has been with the FFAV since its inception in 2002. Related to his work there he has given keynote speeches on grassroots development at the Soccerex Asian Forum and the AFC Grassroots Football Workshop. He has also spoken about female involvement in grassroots football development and the One Goal Conference. Mr Nguyen believes the FFAC is not only building the foundation for football development but also using football as a tool for educating necessary life skills for the youth.

Mr Nguyen studied International Development Studies at the University of Oslo and has an MBA from the University of Applied Sciences in Austria.

Alexander Jarvis

Alexander Jarvis


Alexander Jarvis is the Chairman of Blackbridge Cross Borders Co (BCB) since 2013. His core role is structuring, advising and facilitating arbitrages, transnational business transactions, inbound-outbound Investment in China along with managing the Blackbridge team and its associates across Europe, Central Asia and East Asia.

Mr Jarvis is the first British entrepreneur and financier to set up a football focussed investment company to assist Chinese millionaires and billionaires in acquiring European Football Clubs, Sports Conglomerates and Football Agency's. Prior to Blackbridge Cross Borders creation, he has sold two businesses and has been involved globally in a multitude of projects across a diverse range of industries, most notably within the financial sector.

Mr Jarvis has experience in working across Europe and has lived and worked in the Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Kazakhstan, People's Republic of China and Russian Federation.

Simon Chadwick

Simon Chadwick

Professor of Sports Enterprise, Salford University
Senior Fellow, University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute

Simon Chadwick holds the position of Professor of Sports Enterprise at Salford University Manchester. In addition, he is a Senior Fellow at the University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute. He also currently serves as Director of Research for the Josoor Institute, which is part of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

Professor Chadwick has been researching, teaching and writing about Asian football for nearly 20 years. He is particularly interested in the economic, industrial and commercial development of football, and also in the geopolitical context within which decisions pertaining to each of these areas takes place.

Among the universities at which he has worked are London (UK), IESE (Madrid), Doha (Qatar), Chueng Kong (Beijing) and Osaka (Japan). He has also worked extensively on Asian football related projects with the likes of FC Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, the Deutsche Fussball Bund, Nielsen, Octagon, China Everbright and Sina.

Professor Chadwick routinely comments in the media on Asian football, some examples of which includes Al Jazeera, CCTV, BBC, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. Also, his columns have been published via outlets such as Newsweek, Reuters and China Daily. He regularly writes about Asian football for the Asia and Pacific Policy Forum in Australia.

Nic Coward

Nic Coward

Former General Secretary
The Premier League
Abhinandan Balasubramanian

Abhinandan Balasubramanian

Founder and CEO
Premier Futsal

Abhinandan Balasubramanian is a serial entrepreneur. He is the CEO & Founder of Premier Futsal - the all-star futsal league which included some of the biggest names in world football, top international futsal players and a local player roster selected through a talent hunt programme. At 26, he is also amongst the youngest sports league owners and C-suite executive in sports globally. He brings his vast network of relationships in technology sports, media and entertainment in building key stakeholders for Premier Futsal and its auxiliary properties. He leads the league's strategy and business development. He devised the Launchpad, a talent scouting programme which gave participants a chance to represent their community/city in a major sports league alongside international stars - a never-seen-before and one-of-a-kind opportunity for the first time globally.

Mr Balasubramanian also leads altflo, a fintech company providing enterprise solutions and intelligence to global investment funds and financial institutions. Prior to this, he successfully built a foodtech company and was an early employee in a private equity secondaries marketplace in London.


Moderators (3)

David Bond

David Bond

Security and Defence Editor
Financial Times

David Bond is the Financial Times' Security and Defence Editor. Based in London, he joined the FT in 2016 as European Media Correspondent. Before joining the FT he was the BBC’s Sports Editor. He led BBC News’ on-air coverage of major national and international sports stories on flagship programmes such as the BBC 1 News at Ten and Radio 4’s Today Programme. He covered the London 2012 Olympics, the 2010 South Africa World Cup and the FIFA corruption scandal.

Simon Kuper

Simon Kuper

Financial Times

Simon Kuper is a columnist for the Financial Times. He was educated at Oxford University and Harvard and has been working for the Financial Times since 1994, and now writes a general column for the newspaper.

He is British but lives with his wife and three children in Paris. He is the author of several books including Football Against the Enemy (winner of the William Hill prize for Sports Book of the Year 1994), Ajax, The Dutch, The War: Football in Europe During the Second World War (2003), The Football Men (2011) and – as co-author with Stefan Szymanski - Soccernomics (2009). He also writes for magazines in Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland and other countries.  

Ben Bland

Ben Bland

South China Correspondent
Financial Times

Ben Bland is the South China correspondent for the Financial Times. He previously reported for the FT from Indonesia and Vietnam, where he covered economics, business, politics and other breaking news stories.

Agenda - 25th Oct

  • 8:00am
  • 9:10am
    Opening remarks from the Chair

    David Bond, European Media Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 9:15am
    View from the top – The future of football

    Opening keynote address and conversation

    His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, President, Asian Football Confederation

  • 9:45am
    Panel: Asia’s goal for global success

    As Asia’s appetite for global sporting success continues to increase, local football authorities are keen to emulate the financial and viewing success that premier leagues in the UK and Europe currently have. Apart from the J League in Japan, which is the only domestic Asian league that fans watch more than international leagues, Asian communities are still drawn to the likes of the Champions and Premier League for their football viewing. If this trend is to change then what needs to be addressed? An expert panel tackles the following questions:

    • What can local football associations do to better promote their domestic leagues to both local and international viewers?
    • Will Asian footballing federations look to adopt more of a US-sporting franchise model, compared to European leagues?
    • How important is it that Asian clubs attract internationally recognised players?
    • Are communities able to attract international investment that has been shown to help drive international coverage?

    Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Enterprise, Salford University; Senior Fellow, University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute; Director of Research, Josoor Institute

    Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Association

    David Gallop, CEO, Football Federation Australia

    Winston Lee, General Secretary, Football Association of Singapore

    Moderated by David Bond, European Media Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 10:35am
    Refreshment break
  • 11:05am
    Panel: The chance for governance to do the right thing

    Developing integration between multiple stakeholders and providing platforms for equality, gender and diversity to flourish are key values that governing bodies in football are striving for. However recently, some of the trust, confidence and approval in these organisations has been tarnished. Moving forward then, how can governance in football give itself the chance to provide the sport with the accountability and transparency that its fans and stakeholders desire, that will in turn provide greater economic and social rewards as well as act as a beacon for other sports to follow?

    • Implementing new governance in football – where should the power lie and how should it be regulated?
    • How can we make governance in football more transparent?
    • The role of governance in reuniting an Asian football community

    Salman Al-Ansari, Partner, Al-Ansari & Associates; President, Qatar Players Foundation; Former Player, Qatar National Football Team

    Pierre Cornu, Chairman, CIES Board; Former Chief Legal Counsel for Integrity and Regulatory Affairs, UEFA

    Nic Coward, Former General Secretary, The Premier League

    Moderated by David Bond, European Media Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 11:50am
    Panel: The appetite of corporates and the power of football finance

    The ability that football possesses in being able to drive commercial viability, opportunity and success within countries and communities eclipses all over sports – and is continuing to do so. It is therefore no surprise that commercial entities – especially in growth markets - are now more than ever, on the lookout for platforms that will generate economic benefits from the game. By coordinating their efforts through national governing bodies, iconic brand partnerships, government support, exclusive broadcasting rights and lucrative sponsorship deals, they can maximise brand awareness, drive fan engagement and generate international trade. This expert panel looks at the finances of the game and how opportunities generated from a structured and profitable business model can also aid social and cultural development in growth markets.

    • What do global corporations see when they assess the commercial opportunities in football; from brand alignment to product placement?
    • How are governments harnessing football to bring international business to their shores?
    • What can be done further to excite international corporate stakeholders about Asian football, competitions and partnerships?
    • Can Asian football learn from the political and commercial appetites in other sports such as Formula 1?

    Wael Al-Qadi, President and Owner, Bristol Rovers FC; Executive Board Member, FIFA U17 2016 Women’s World Cup LOC; Assistant General Manager, AJIB Bank

    Philippe Roten, Commercial Director EMEIA, TAG Heuer

    Jamie Graham, CEO, TEAM Marketing

    Moderated by David Bond, European Media Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:35pm
  • 2:00pm
    Panel: Tournament goals - making sense of international events

    Looking ahead to 2018 and 2022, as well as many other international tournaments on the football calendar, what are the core objectives that the sport wants to achieve from these events? How will local associations and countries look to prosper from having the global game at their doorstep and how can a sustainable legacy – one that truly allows for economic success, youth development, cultural inclusion and strategic alliances - be attained? From employment to safety, playing conditions to legacy and security to management, this panel analyses the process and attraction of bidding, and subsequently hosting football’s prime event.

    Nasser Al Khater, Assistant Secretary General for Tournament Affairs, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

    Adrian Bevington, Former Managing Director, England Football Team; Former Director of Communications, The FA

    Andrew Cooke, Director of Security Operations, International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS)

    Moderated by Simon Kuper, Columnist, Financial Times

  • 2:45pm
    Panel: China focus - Enhancing the presence of football’s growth markets

    Growth markets such as India and Thailand are continuing to show signs of expansion in the football market and investors are continuously on the lookout for takeover opportunities in organisations throughout their markets. It proves their appetite for involvement in the game on the global stage and the support and backing they have from their governments and major stakeholders. China is under particular spotlight at the moment as it looks to seriously cement footholds in some of the sport’s biggest clubs, agencies and corporations. Earlier this year we saw Chinese investor groups locked in a bidding war worth millions for one of the world’s most powerful footballing agencies and we are seeing a huge amount of growth domestically as China sets itself the target of creating a £550 billion plus sports industry with football at its central point. It signifies China’s appetite for the game and their plans to dominate it.

    • What are the best government initiatives that promote football in these markets?
    • Are Asian governments focusing enough on infrastructure when putting forward bids to host regional and international tournaments?
    • How can their increased participation and investment be harnessed in such a way that both enhances the economic viability of the sport and allows for social development?
    • Can Chinese clubs attract enough of the world’s big-name players to their doorsteps?

    Alexander Jarvis, Chairman, Blackbridge

    Feng Tao, Co-founder & CEO, Shankai Sports

    Cameron Wilson, Founding Editor, Wild East Football

    Moderated by Ben Bland, South China Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 3:30pm
  • 4:00pm
    Panel: Creating a footballing future for all

    Football is a sport that is internationally known, played and appreciated yet discrimination, racism and violence still exist today. Attempts to eradicate violence have of course been made yet as proven recently, tournaments still provide the platform for radical extremists to take action and tarnish the values that the sport holds most dear. This behaviour not only creates a negative impact on the experience of the game but has consequences on the interest from external stakeholders – corporate companies, governments and associations – who are continually looking to invest in the sport.

    • How to achieve greater equality and greater inclusion so that football is seen in a shining light once more?
    • What are associations doing to improve behaviour within the sport?
    • What more can be done to increase female participation in football?
    • How are national associations working with regional governing bodies to eradicate racism and discrimination?
    • Can more be done to ensure that the correct values of the sport are learnt at a younger age?
    • What is the role of international tournaments in providing better legacies for youth development?

    Abhinandan Balasubramanian, Founder and CEO, Premier Futsal

    Tom Byer, Head Technical Advisor, Chinese Ministry of Education

    David Davies, Former Executive Director, The Football Association

    Nguyen Hoang Phuong, Director, Football for All in Vietnam

    Moderated by Simon Kuper, Columnist, Financial Times

  • 4:45pm
    Closing keynote interview

    Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

    Moderated by Simon Kuper, Columnist, Financial Times

  • 5:15pm
    Closing remarks from the Chair

    David Bond, European Media Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 5:30pm

Why attend?

  • Interact with leaders of the footballing industry who have special focus and interest in the Asian region
  • Identify the core objectives of the upcoming World Cups and how a lasting legacy can be provided
  • Hear from speakers looking to rapidly increase China's influence on world football
  • Assess the next steps required, for correct governance within the sport to prevail

Who attends?

The summit will comprise of senior decision makers from the following sectors:

  • Football Clubs
  • Governing Bodies
  • Football Associations
  • Sports Agencies
  • Sports Brands
  • Sports Goverment Officials
  • Corporate Sponsors
  • Broadcasters
  • Sporting Media
  • Stadium Builders
  • Architects
  • Professional services businesses serving football e.g. Lawyers, Accountants, Banks, Consultancies, Insurance Companies

In Association with (1)

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of Asian football and one of the six Confederations making up FIFA. Formed in 1954 in Manila, Philippines, the AFC is now headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and consists of 46 Member Associations and one Associate Member Association (The Northern Mariana Islands). Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain is the AFC President and Dato’ Windsor John of Malaysia is the AFC General Secretary. The AFC is responsible for running football in Asia. Among its various responsibilities are: regulating the game, drafting new laws to improve the sport, implementing the law, boosting grassroots and youth football, and conducting major competitions.

Founding partner (1)

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) – along with key stakeholders – is responsible for delivering stadiums and infrastructure for an amazing 2022 FIFA World Cup™, leaving a lasting legacy for Qatar, the region and the world.

We ensure all preparations for the tournament mirror Qatar’s wider development goals, as described in the Qatar National Vision 2030. We demonstrate exceptional programme and stakeholder management to ensure timely delivery of infrastructure, competition and non-competition venues – while integrating Qatari culture into all hosting plans in order to provide the best possible image of the Middle East when the world arrives in Qatar in 2022.

The SC is also committed to making the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ the most environmentally friendly edition of the tournament ever held – and we apply exacting sustainability standards to every project. In addition to delivering on these commitments over the coming years, we have already implemented a number of legacy projects, nationally and internationally, such as Challenge 22 and Generation Amazing – as we continue to deliver amazing every day. We are confident the investments the SC is making today will pay dividends for generations to come, in line with Qatar’s vision of a healthy and prosperous global future.

Sponsor (1)

Organiser (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

Supporting partners (5)

Doha Stadium Plus is Qatar’s first and only English sports weekly. It covers almost all sports activities which are of interest to both nationals and expatriates, not only in Qatar, but in the entire Middle East and beyond.
Readers from a wide age group either buy the copy from newsstands or subscribe to the magazine, which has a circulation of about 20,000 copies with distribution outlets in Qatar, other GCC countries, and in some parts of Africa and Europe. The only sports weekly of its kind in the region holds immense interest of high-profile clients. Our website is a major source for Qatar sports news for various publications around the globe.

Football has grown exponentially over the years to what is now a multi-billion pound global industry. But football’s growth has been no accident. With huge investment in human capital, stadium infrastructure, sports science, social and digital media and broadcasting, football as a business is now world class in every sense. fcbusiness magazine has been at the forefront of the football industry since 2004, bringing you interviews from some of the game’s leading executives from the UK’s leading clubs and governing bodies, as well as across Europe and beyond. With the largest readership of decision makers in the football industry, fcbusiness continues to make huge strides when linking buyers and sellers as well as providing insight, discussion, research and information on all topics that impact this great game.

GlobalSportsJobs is the leading specialist digital media and talent acquisition platform for the international sports industry. It offers active, passive and industry-curious job-seekers the latest career opportunities from around the globe, from entry-level to senior management positions.

The company operates across all sports industry sectors and functions, providing digital solutions to help organisations showcase their employer branding and source a greater quality and diversity of talent. It is helping further professionalise, inspire and educate the industry by publishing original and engaging market insights.

We work with over 1,000 clients, reaching an audience of 1.2 million professionals from both within and outside the sports industry. In the past 12 months, we have advertised over 4,000 jobs that have attracted more than one million views. Our 4 language platforms in English, German, French and Chinese, supported by 15 social media channels, provide access to an increasingly diverse and quality candidate base. Through our global network of affiliate partners, career opportunities can be advertised to niche communities and targeted audiences.

Insideworldfootball is a web-based news-driven service for the business of the football aimed at clubs, leagues and federations as well football’s supply sector. Insideworldfootball covers the business and politics of football with unrivalled access through its network of experienced reporters to the decision-makers who dictate the future of football globally. Whether it is reporting the financial results of top clubs, football investments from China, or understanding the reality behind the PR of the latest political manoeuvring at FIFA, Insideworldfootball is ahead of the game.

It’s daily news bulletin has become the must-read resource for football’s executive class. Delivered via daily e-mail newsletter (hit the subscribe button a insideworldfootball to join the community for free) the content is also available via its website The content is translated under license into Chinese. Archive content can be accessed via subscription. On social media Insideworldfootball is accessible via Facebook (more than 160,000 likes) and Twitter @Insidewldftball (more than 40,000 followers).

iSportConnect is the world’s largest sports business network with over 23,000 members worldwide. Operating under a strict door policy, membership is exclusive to senior sports business executives, with a thorough verification process. iSportconnect offers two digital platforms; is the one stop platform for members of the sports industry with all the latest news, features, community discussions, executive jobs & market place opportunities. iSportconnect TV is the first online TV channel for the worldwide sports business industry, with Business Reviews, Special Reports, BIG Interviews and features. iSportconnect also host bespoke invitation-only Directors’ Club and Masterclass events for members of the sports business industry.


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