Qatar Football AssociationInside QFA
26.10.2020 18:02 in :

Last week, the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and ASEAN Football Federation (AFF), in partnership with Josoor Institute, staged their first webinar called ‘Bouncing back from COVID-19 – safely returning to play and rebuilding revenues’ for the 12 member associations in the ASEAN region. The online workshop was the first in a new digital learning series that was developed through a new partnership between the QFA and AFF that was formed back in 2019.

The workshop brought together senior leaders from both organisations at an unprecedented challenging time. The participants of the workshop comprised representatives from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam. AFF President Major General Khiev Sameth delivered the opening and closing remarks for the two-day webinar.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decline in revenues, which occurred at a time when business models in the sports industry were already evolving, in light of new distribution channels and other strategic factors. Moreover, organisations in the sports industry face the question of how to safely return to training and play, amidst a pandemic crisis that remains unresolved.

What things can be done to safely return to the pitch and generate new revenues? The Asean region, representing a market of over 640 million fans and consumers, addressed these questions with the collaboration of senior colleagues and experts from the sports industry, many of whom are equally preoccupied with similar challenges that their organisations, clients and partners face at this time.

The stellar line up of guest speakers included David Cushnan, Head of Content, Leaders in Sport as the moderator; Hani Ballan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Stars League and a senior leader in the football world with over three decades of experience; Aykan Azar, Octagon’s head of APAC, Middle East & North Africa, a top specialist in strategic sponsorship and brand activation campaigns for previous FIFA World Cup™ tournaments in Germany (2006), South Africa (2010) and Brazil (2014); Alexander Scotcher, AS Roma’s director of global partnerships, who is heavily involved in a data-driven approach for value creation and in the development of Roma’s new stadium; Sharon Burkhalter-Lau, operations director for UEFA’s business arm, who are responsible for the operational implementation of UEFA’s competitions; Luis Manuel Andre Elias, security advisor to the Prime Minister of Portugal and Superintendent of the Portuguese Security Police, who played a key role in guaranteeing the continuity of sports events amidst the pandemic on occasion of the recent UEFA Champions League knockout tournament in Lisbon in August, and Massimiliano Montanari, Chief Executive Officer, International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS).

AFF President, Major General Khiev Sameth said: “The intense series of highly relevant presentations and discussions throughout this first workshop has helped our Member Associations consolidate their global view and outlook of the sports industry amid the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. They have heard from expert speakers the concrete ways in which commercial strategies ought to be reworked in the face of the current crisis. Our MAs have to consider the risk assessment and mitigation strategies, and the necessary procedures for a safe return to play. This workshop has been of substantive value for our members.”

Saud Al-Mohanndi, Vice President of the QFA, said: “Building on the common understanding of the importance to further build capacity in the football industry in ASEAN countries, and furthermore amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we were delighted to collaborate with the ASEAN Football Federation in the spirit and framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2019. I am grateful to all the participants and to the team at the QFA, AFF and Josoor Institute who have made that possible.”

Afraa Al Noaimi, Executive Director of Josoor Intitute, said: “As the education and training arm of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Josoor is honoured to partner with the QFA and AFF on this series of webinars. My colleagues and I look forward to continuing to work closely with our colleagues in these key organisations from the global football family, along with faculty experts and senior professionals at this challenging juncture for the sports industry.”