Uefa president Michel Platini to kick off Dubai Sports Conference

Six sessions over two days will lead up to the Globe Soccer awards on Monday night. Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid star, is expected to be at the awards ceremony but he is not part of any of the discussion panels.
Some hoped Uefa president Michel Platini would run against Sepp Blatter in next year’s Fifa presidential election but Platini has said he will not stand for football’s top office. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN
Some hoped Uefa president Michel Platini would run against Sepp Blatter in next year’s Fifa presidential election but Platini has said he will not stand for football’s top office. AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN

DUBAI // Michel Platini will speak on the “future of football” as the first speaker at the annual Dubai Sports Conference, which begins Sunday morning at Atlantis The Palm.

Six sessions over two days will lead up to the Globe Soccer awards, to be presented at a “gala dinner” Monday night. Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid star, is expected to be at the awards ceremony but he is not part of any of the discussion panels.

The awards session will honour players, coaches, teams and agents in 15 categories, according to organisers, and will be televised live from 7pm by Abu Dhabi Sports.

Platini, a former France standout, is president of Uefa, the organisers of European football. Some hoped he would run against Sepp Blatter in next year’s Fifa presidential election but Platini has said he will not stand for football’s top office.

He will be accompanied on the dais by Pierluigi Collina, the Italian widely considered the world’s best referee before his age-mandated retirement in 2005, when he turned 45. Collina is now the Uefa chief refereeing officer.

Also listed as speaking today, or participating in round-table discussions, are coaches Fabio Capello, the Russia national team coach, and Filippo Inzaghi, the former AC Milan player who now manages the club.

The Milan player, Stephan El Sharaawy, an Italian international whose father is Egyptian, and the Juventus chairman, Andrea Agnelli, also are on the schedule.

The second session today is entitled “Smart Investment” and features Fawaz Al Hasawi, chairman of English Championship club Nottingham Forrest, Suhail Al Arifi, chief executive of the Pro League Committee, which oversees the Arabian Gulf League, and Agnelli.

Tomorrow, potentially the most interesting session is the second of three one-hour events, entitled “Die Mannschaft” (the German team), and features Dr Rainer Koch, a vice president of the German Football Association, Dr Karl Dittmar of Bayern Munich and Mehdi Benatia, the Morocco centre-back who plays for Bayern Munich.

Germany have won four World Cups, the most recent at Brazil 2014.

The third session tomorrow is entitled “The Story of Success” and features Miguel Angel Marin, president of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, and Fernando Torres, the former Liverpool and Spain standout, who, for the past few days, has been linked to a return to Atletico, therefore leaving Chelsea, who had loaned him to Milan. Patrick Kluivert, the Dutchman who played for Barcelona, Milan and Ajax, among others, is also set to be part of the panel.

Viewing the sessions is by invitation only.

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Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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