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The future of Football
A public dialogue organised by the Club of Amsterdam about fan cultures, Qatar, Nike,
Arab countries and coaching the coaches.

"The contemporary history of the world's favourite game spans more than 100 years. It all began in 1863 in England, when rugby football and association football branched off on their different courses and the Football Association in England was formed - becoming the sport's first governing body.

Both codes stemmed from a common root and both have a long and intricately branched ancestral tree. A search down the centuries reveals at least half a dozen different games, varying to different degrees, and to which the historical development of football has been traced back. Whether this can be justified in some instances is disputable. Nevertheless, the fact remains that people have enjoyed kicking a ball about for thousands of years and there is absolutely no reason to consider it an aberration of the more 'natural' form of playing a ball with the hands." - FIFA

Philosopher Albert Camus, who was a goalie for his university team before TB ended his professional hopes. He later said, "what I know most about morality and the duty of man I owe to football."

The speakers and topics are:

Tom Fadrhonc,
Consultant, itim International, former General Manager Benelux, Nike
The future of Football. More or less united?

No other sport can boast football’s multi-cultural credentials. The players who make up the world's greatest football teams come from all parts of the globe, and football provides us the best examples of co-operation in action. So does football have the power to unite societies? Or will it always be a vehicle to attract likeminded people with similar backgrounds, religions, regional roots, beliefs etc, and viscously compete against all with different backgrounds?

Huib Wursten, Senior Partner, ITIM International
Coaching the coaches in international sports.

In some sports it is clear that globalization is a hard fact. One such an example is Soccer. In professional soccer it is not an exception if in the starting line up one can find players of 11 different nationalities. Also in non professional teams is diversity a fact. In The Netherlands it is not unusual to have Moroccan, Turkish, and Surinam players in the team as well as people from the Antilles. As a result, interest is growing in the challenge how to align the people from different backgrounds.

Having the knowledge of how this challenge is handled in international businesses like Nike, 3M, IBM and in global organizations like the IMF, the Worldbank etc, Huib Wursten together with Tom Fadrhonc started 15 years ago also to apply this to help coaches in international sports like soccer.

Huib and Tom are teaching in the official training for professional coaches in The Netherlands and gave numerous workshops for the Union of Dutch professional Soccer coaches.

They gave workshops to the training Staff of clubs like Ajax, PSV, Heereveen, NEC and Excelsior to develop an understanding in how to coach players from different backgrounds to make a homogeneous team.

James M. Dorsey, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and co-director of the Institute for Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg
Soccer – A Middle Eastern and North African Battlefield.

A confrontation between autocratic Arab leaders and militant, highly politicized, street battle-hardened soccer fans that has already contributed to the toppling of former Egyptian and Tunisian presidents Hosni Mubarak and Zine el Abedin Ben Ali builds on a political tradition inherent in the game since its introduction by the British. That tradition is rooted in the fact that politics was associated with the founding of the vast majority of soccer clubs in the region and underlies its foremost derbies, some of which rank among the world’s most violent.

Taken together, the fan groups constitute a major social force. In Egypt, for example, they represent one of the largest civic groups in the country after the ruling Muslim Brotherhood. The power of the fans is highlighted by the fact that they have prevented the lifting of a suspension of professional soccer in Egypt for much of 2012. The suspension was imposed after 74 people were killed in February 2012 in a politically loaded brawl in Port Said, the worst incident in Egyptian sporting history.

Much like hooligans in Britain whose attitudes were shaped by the decaying condition of stadiums, Egyptian and Tunisian militants were driven by the regime’s attempt to control stadiums that they consider their space by turning them into virtual fortresses ringed by black steel. The struggle for control produced a complete breakdown, social decay in a microcosm. If the space was expendable, so was life. As a result, militant fans would confront the police often each weekend with total abandonment in a phenomenon in stadiums that scholars J. Pratt and M. Salter described as “a meeting point for a variety of social conflicts, hostilities and prejudices.” That is all the more true for Middle Eastern and North African who unlike hooligans in pluralistic West European societies had no alternative release claps for their pent-up anger and frustration.

Moderated by John Mahnen, Business Development Manager, Heg Consult.

the future of Football
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Location: Sporthallen Zuid, Burgerweeshuispad 54, 1076 EP Amsterdam
Tickets: Euro 10 (Students), Euro 20 (Members etc.) or Euro 30.
The conference language is English.

This event is supported by India House.

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