The Qatar Football Association and ASEAN Football Federation, in partnership with the Josoor Institute, today concluded the events of the 2nd webinar in their “Digital Learning” series – held from 23 to 25 February 2021.

The online seminar aimed to raise awareness of – and to combat – fraud, match-fixing and illegal betting activities that distort the integrity of football. 

This was the second consecutive webinar to be hosted by the QFA, within the context of strengthening cooperation and activating the Memorandum of Understanding between the Qatari and ASEAN Football Federations, as well as reflecting the urgent need to share knowledge on the latest developments in the field of fraud detection.

The workshop enjoyed the participation of 12 AFF Member Associations: namely, the football federations of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.

The program included sessions covering many topics during the three days of the symposium, with the first day focusing mainly on the importance of understanding the global impact of match fixing. Additionally, it promoted skills in reporting related issues, raised awareness on the threats posed by sports betting to international football, and proposed solutions including enhanced information exchange and well-defined common goals.

Day two of the webinar looked at the security and safety of sporting events, during which participants studied examples from the English Premier League – providing insights to help in managing policy and building supportive relationships in leading institutions. In addition, it discussed the means of interaction and enabled responsible teamwork between all interested parties, including clubs and supporters’ associations, as well as securing safe access routes for people with special needs.

The third and final day focused on Qatar’s experience in applying the ‘medical bubble’ system and hosting the AFC Champions League (West & East) under exceptional circumstances.

The webinar brought together senior members of each organization, in addition to representatives of the member states. A group of internationally known and highly experienced experts also participated in the lectures – including David Cushnan, Head of Content at Leaders in Sport, acting as moderator; Hani Ballan, Qatar Stars League CEO and a world-class football administrator with three decades of experience; and Aykan Azar, Octagon’s Managing Director for APAC, Middle East & Africa, and a top specialist in strategic sponsorship and brand activation campaigns for the FIFA World Cup™ tournaments in Germany (2006), South Africa (2010) and Brazil (2014).

The event also featured influential lectures by Alexander Scotcher, AS Roma’s Director of Global Partnerships, who is also involved in a data-driven approach for value creation and in the development of the club’s new stadium; Sharon Burkhalter-Lau, Operations Director of UEFA’s business arm and responsible for the operational implementation of UEFA 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 sporting events amidst the pandemic, on occasion of last August’s UEFA Champions League knockout tournament in Lisbon; and Massimiliano Montanari, Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS).

In the words of Mr. Saud Al-Mohannadi, QFA’s Vice-President: “Building on a common understanding of the importance to extending capacity in the football industry across the ASEAN region, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we were delighted to collaborate with the ASEAN Football Federation and partner with the Josoor Institute, within the spirit and framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2019.

“I am grateful for the participation of representatives of the QFA, AFF and Josoor Institute who were involved in organising this beneficial and efficient online workshop series, and we look forward to further fruitful and constructive cooperation in the future.”

For his part, AFF President, Major General Khiev Sameth, commented: “Similar to the first one, this second webinar has armed the participants from our respective national associations with critical information and in-depth knowledge that will benefit them in their football operations. I thank the world-class speakers and experts who delivered insightful presentations and also shared their experiences with us over the last three days. On behalf of the AFF, I would like to express our thanks to the Qatar FA and officials from QFA and AFF involved with organising this event. We also record our appreciation to Jasoor Institute for developing this webinar series. ”

Afraa Al Noaimi, Executive Director of the Josoor Institute, the education and training arm of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said: “Josoor Institute is honoured to participate with the QFA and AFF in organising this series of we

“My colleagues and I look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners in these key organisations from the global football family, along with faculty experts and senior professionals at this challenging juncture for the sports industry.”

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