The Host Cities summit today concluded after a series of presentations and debates among industry leaders on the bidding, funding, hosting and legacy of major events.
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the former Head of the FIFA Technical Committee, was one of many experts who spoke during the two-day event, using the platform to talk honestly about Qatar’s World Cup Bid.
“There is no doubt Qatar will happen, as long as no wrong-doing happened.” Mayne-Nicholls continued. “It will be a success but there is only one solution, you have to move it to winter. It is time though, to move on and concentrate on the event.”
With the Qatar 2022 bid constantly in the spotlight, Mayne-Nicholls – who led the technical inspection of the bid – went onto to answer questions about his own aspirations and the possibility of challenging Sepp Blatter in next year’s FIFA elections.
“I’m analyzing the situation of running for the presidency of FIA. There is a possibility there and what motivates me is to make a change, things must change I will decide by early 2015.”
Mayne-Nicholls added that FIFA has a long way to go before their image is perceived better by the world, adding: “We administer a game that belongs to the people. We need to get closer to the fans.”
Host Cities, now in its 3rdyear, welcomed speakers from all corners of the globe as panel sessions spoke on numerous subjects.
A VIP Keynote Address from Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, opened the event. Karim spoke of Dubai’s vision to be a leading global events destination.
Speaking on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Dubai’s Expo 2020 win, Kazim said: “Anything is possible. A million memories are all coming to this remarkable city. Dubai has created a cohesive events calendar and we’ll deliver Sheikh Mohammed’s promise to astonish the world.”
Dubai Sports Council Secretary General, His Excellency Saeed Hareb, spoke during the first session tackling the subject, “How do you deliver legacy from an event and maximize positive economic and social benefit?”
He said: “Dubai is not only a dream it is a vision. The government supported us financially but they also have a vision, we are working together, and they are participating with their people in building this vision.”
With India being a strong subject over the two-day summit, the Million Dollar creators spoke during a Dubai Sports City-sponsored lunch to announce their new projects. They include a third season of Million Dollar Arm, where India is scoured in the hope of finding baseball pitching talent to star in America’s baseball leagues. “Million Dollar Bat” was also announced where an American baseball player will be found and transformed into a cricket star to play in India.
IPL CEO Sundar Raman gave his vote of confidence for the project, adding:
“Anything that helps grow the game of cricket and bring new talent in is very welcome.”
Host Cities provides an extensive opportunity for past, present and future host cities to come together with leading rights holders and sporting bodies. Networking opportunities were a plenty as Dubai continues its commitment to be a leading global events destination.