Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Play the Game, Day 4: Is the only difference between FIFA and the mafia the lack of corpses?

Find the Play the Game 2011 website with more information, photos, video, program, etc. HERE.

On Thursday, the closing day of the conference, I started with a session on mega-events, featuring French NGO “Sport et citoyenneté”, with Project Manager Marc-Olivier Neu speaking on “the organisation of mega sports events: a double-edged sword”, while Annie Sugier returned to the subject of the visibility of women's participation in such events.

Nikki Dryden (photo Play the Game)
Nikki Dryden, a former Olympic diver who now works as a human rights lawyer, whose talk was entitled “Behind and Beyond the Podium: Change Must Come to Global Sporting”, starting with her own increasing awareness of the social responsibility of athletes durfing her own career, and the litany of problems mega-events generate for athletes, but more importantly for the communities that host these events, in particular the poor, the marginal, the excluded. After previous talks in which speakers noted the temptation of holders of the rights to mega-events to choose as hosts authoritation regimes where there is no rule of law to prevent event organizers from riding roughshod over local communities, Ms Dryden pointed out that democracies, even one as exemplary as Canada, bend over backwards to “adapt” their legislation to the exorbitant demands of rights holders.

Lastly, Daniela Schaaf of the German Sport University spoke on the topic “Mega event – mega impact? How sports tournaments affect national advertising” with an analysis of the perhaps surprisingly large effect of major events on advertising, with an impact far beyond the official corporate sponsors of the event.

Jens Weinrich and Andrew Jennings
(photo Play the Game)
At the same time as the session I attended was taking place another session on corruption in FIFA. This theme was continued in a session on change in sport. Andrew Jennings, the journalist responsible for the BBC reports exposing corruption in FIFA.

Jennings and De Gregorio
(photo Play the Game)
He called on Walter De Gregorio, the newly named director of communications for FIFA, and a last-minute registrant to the conference, to respond to his accusations that FIFA met the definition of organized crime. The response of De Gregorio was somewhat surprising. He said that comparing FIFA to the mafia was outrageous, because unlike the mafia, FIFA had never killed anybody. (!) (More on this HERE)

Harold Mayne-Nicholls and Ingrid Beutler
(photo Play the Game)
Also during this session, Ingrid Beutler, the manager of a new unit in SportAccord responsible for sport integrity and social responsibility, spoke of the rapid progress made in the area of matchfixing, an area where there is a consensus on action, and a domain easier to tackle than corruption and poor governance in the international federations that make up SportAccord.

A more positive viewpoint on the positive impact of sport came from Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the former president of the Chilean football federation.

The next session for me was on disability, with a series of talks showing the impact of media portrayals on perception of disability in sport, and analyses of how various media treat the topic.

FIFA was back on the agenda in the afternoon, with a long intervention by Jérôme Champagne, an ally of Sepp Blatter, and FIFA's officer for international relations before being pushed out by Blatter who feared Champagne as a rival. I for one had difficulty listening to the recommendations of an accomplice to the Blatter regime who insisted on the great progress made during his time in the organization.

Also during this session were talks from Jean-Loup Chappelet, who spoke on the “governance of sport governance: The limits to autonomy”, analyzing the organization of bodies such as the IOC and FIFA, and from Anne Schwoebel of Transparency International Switzerland, who explained the lack of transparency of international sports organisations in Switzerland, the understanding host of so many such organizations.

The main outcome of the conference will be a declaration, the Cologne Consensus, which we will present as soon as the final draft is published.

The FGG thanks Play the Game for an outstanding conference and an opportunity to share the Gay Games movement with so many players in the world of international sport.

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