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Qatar to host inter-regional summit on sports integrity

The two-day summit in Doha will focus on the challenges facing the sports industry and present approaches to safeguard it.
Mohammed Hanzab (left), Chairman And Group Ceo Of Icss And Emmanuel Macedo De Medeiros, Ceo Of Siga Address The Media
Mohammed Hanzab (left), Chairman and Group CEO of ICSS and Emmanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of SIGA, address the media. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Doha will host the first inter-regional summit on sports integrity next week, turning the spotlight on issues plaguing the field, including corruption, unethical practices and poor governance.

The Sept 16-17 meet, titled ‘Sport Integrity – The Power of Collective Action in the Middle East, Asia and Africa’, is organised by Sport Integrity for Global Alliance (SIGA) and is hosted by the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and Qatar Airways.

The summit will feature speakers and participants from 30 countries, including experts from the United Nations and FIFA, global business firms, government organisations and national sports bodies.

HE Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, said, “The summit is in line with Qatar’s proactive role and the country’s efforts to safeguard ethics and promote sports for good for the world communities”.

SIGA is an international organisation working towards safeguarding sports values, ensuring that it is governed under the highest standards of integrity and keeping it free from criminal activity. ICSS, headquartered in Doha, is a non-profit organisation seeking to help the world of sport tackle the most challenging issues it faces today.

Mohammed Hanzab, the Chairman and Group CEO of ICSS, spoke on the need for such a summit. “Organised crime is a threat to the sports industry. They target sports competitions taking advantage of loopholes in legislation and poor governance. There is a dire need to create awareness on the threats and discuss approaches to tackle them”.

He also pointed to the significance of the summit being held in Doha. “Asia is the future of football and the FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar in 2022. Given the revenue the sport generates, it faces a huge threat from many harmful forces and we felt it was appropriate to organise the event in Doha. We also wanted to show that Qatar doesn’t restrict itself to organising sports events but is also concerned about issues affecting sport.”

Emmanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of SIGA said, “Sport is at the crossroads and sustaining on its own is difficult as its income streams are under attack. Sport is in danger of not being able to fulfill its social and cultural responsibilities in such a scenario. The threat is not restricted to one country or a region – it is global. As such we need support from various quarters to take on the challenges.”