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Securing Sport 2020 Conference Kicks Off with Global Leaders Emphasizing on the Power of Sport in Building Resilience

The day one of Securing Sport 2020, the flagship conference of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) concluded today as global leaders and experts united to discuss the future of sport in a rapidly changing world.

The virtual conference explored relevant and timely subjects such as safeguarding sport in the era of COVID19, the security of major sporting events, existing gaps and future perspectives of sport integrity, protection of sport in regions that are in turmoil, and the role of sport in taking a stand against racism.

During the Welcome Speech, Mohammed Hanzab, Founder and Chairman, ICSS said;

“So many events have taken place since the organization of the first edition of ‘Securing Sport’ in 2011. Since then several editions were hosted in different cities around the world: Doha, where the ICSS is headquartered, New York, London, Washington DC.

We could not have imagined that the next location would be in the virtual space. But here we are, so far from each other but at the same time so close.

We are here united for the good of sport while many stadiums are still closed to the public around the world when sport events – mega and small – have been postponed until further notice, changed, altered, or transformed.

We are also here to openly discuss what the future of sport will look like in a new social and economic scenario shaped by COVID-19, with or without a vaccine, with or without masks. No certain answer, to any of these questions, would be justified at this moment; neither by science nor by policies.”

HE Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office (UNOCT) said that such events contribute to peace and security efforts by bringing a multiplicity of actors together behind a common project, including public and private sectors and Civil Society Organisations.

HE Miguel Ángel Moratinos, High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) during the panel discussion on Protecting Sport in Regions in Turmoil’ said;

“Solidarity, unity, fraternity, respect for the other. These are values that can be enhanced through sport. UNAOC has been focused on #prevention. Sport is a good instrument for understanding the other and fostering respect.”

Raffaele Chiulli, President of Sport Accord and of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) said;

“We need to create a platform to share best practices in order to gain from many lessons we learned.”

Graham Stoker, Deputy President for Sport, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) said;

We have to come out of these challenging times with responsibility, sustainability, and with solidarity. If we can do that, sport will be strong”

Joyce Cook, CBE, OBE, FIFA Chief of Social Responsibility and Education Officer said;

“Sport is many things to many people from grassroots to elite. Sport touches lives & it can be life-changing. If we hold that to our hearts in the work that we do, then we won’t go far wrong. But we have to remember that it is about humanity”

Securing Sport 2020 conference will continue till 4 December 2020 with Expert Debates and Youth Interventions hosted by the ICSS initiative Save the Dream.

Introducing Securing Sport 2020, Massimiliano Montanari, CEO, ICSS said;

“Securing Sport – the first edition that took place in Doha in 2011, has been conceived as an international and multisectoral conference aimed at promoting discussion and collective actions vis-a-vis the challenges, the changes, and threats the world of sport is and will be coping with.

Today we address topics of systemic nature which in our opinion needs higher consideration from a policy-making perspective, starting with the impact that COVID-19 is having on the future of sport.

It is about the present and the future, from major sporting events to grass-root sports, it is about informing policy and decision-makers on ways to protect people, places, values and the opportunities sport can generate in the socio-economic context, across nations.

By bringing together all ICSS partners and allies, at the end of this long and challenging year, we trust Securing Sport will inspire the visions and the work of the ICSS for 2021 and beyond while suggesting collective actions involving all of us.