Durban to host football summit
Durban is set to host Africa's first World Football Summit next month, a lucrative event with a projected economic impact of nearly R195m.
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala announced on Tuesday that the summit, which brings together global football industry heavyweights, will take place at the ICC Durban on March 17 and 18.
The event provides a platform and a voice for stakeholders in soccer to meet, discuss, promote and generate business opportunities.
La Liga president Javier Tebas, Fifa secretary-general Fatma Samoura, Argentinian soccer legend Juan Sebastián Verón and Safa president Danny Jordaan are among the chief guests at the event.
"We are excited and very proud as the province of KwaZulu-Natal to play host to such a global event that brings together all those involved in the business of sports," said Zikalala.
He said global research showed that the sports industry was the second-fastest growing sector for brands, outpacing the GDP growth of most countries.
World Football Summit Africa is expected to bring together more than 1,000 delegates and 80 top speakers from 50 countries.
The economic impact of World Football summits for the host city exceeds R194m, according to reports.
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said: "This is indeed a vote of confidence to us that we remain the preferred venue for major international events. With more than 1,200 delegates from around the world expected to attend the WFS, this will once again position Durban as a globally competitive city for investment and a venue of choice for sports events," said Kaunda.
WFS director Jan Alessie said: "The passion and talent that exists in Africa for football is unmatched. Africa also has 20% of the world's young population, making it a market with a huge potential for growth."
Alessie is confident the summit will mark the beginning of a long-term relationship between WFS and Durban. "Today, we're putting the first brick in an event which wants to build a robust and long-lasting house, not only for WFS, but also for the African industry."
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