Following the very successful launch of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) and Soccerex’s Webinar “COVID 360°: Where does football go now?”, the second webinar was broadcast live yesterday around the globe to over four hundred participants.

Moderated by CNN sports anchor Amanda Davies, participants tuned in to watch the President of Concacaf and Vice-President of FIFA, Victor Montagliani, and Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of SIGA and Chairman of SIGA AMERICA, discuss the challenges posed by the current global pandemic and its sporting and financial impact, and what football confederations and their national associations and stakeholders have to do in order to advancing the necessary governance and integrity reforms.

Focusing on the impact of the current crisis on world football, Concacaf President and FIFA VicePresident Victor Montagliani stated: “This crisis has reminded us just how interconnected we are as a game, and that even the most powerful club or league can be knocked down. I am hopeful that there is humbleness across football after this pandemic, and that we focus on working together. Ultimately, football is all about the fans and the players and games in front of empty stadiums clearly show this.”

About football’s return, Victor went on to say: “Everyone needs to focus on their families and their health at this time – that is the priority. This time has made us realize how much we miss the game, and how much it is part of our DNA. It will be back, and it will come back strongly. People thought football was at risk when we went through the governance crisis five years ago with the scandals. What football showed was that it survived that, and it survived that because of the players and the fans and the love of the game.”

Commenting on the sports governance and integrity vulnerabilities exposed by the current pandemic and aggravated by the incoming economic crisis, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of SIGA and Chairman and CEO of SIGA AMERICA, said: “Here’s the truth, plain and simple: Sport cannot continue living under permanent scandals and widespread suspicions. Words and promises of change have little value; only actions and results count. Going back to ‘business as usual’, after this global pandemic, is unacceptable! Leaders in Sport and Government must live up to their responsibilities, and stop finding excuses to continue delaying long overdue reforms!”

Calling for action, he added: “Sport can’t miss this opportunity to reform itself and the way it conducts its operations. Those who are at the helm must lead by example, and ensure their organisations comply with the SIGA Universal Standards and go through the SIGA Independent Rating and Monitoring System (SIRVS). Nothing less than that will suffice. We remain, as ever, at their disposal to collaborate.”

The SIGA-Soccerex Webinar Series occurs every two weeks, with the third Webinar taking place on Wednesday 3 June 2020 at 15.00 UK time. Designed to be dynamic, informative and interactive, online delegates can send questions in advance to specific sports industry leaders as well as ask questions in real-time.

The next topic in the series will focus on club football. Watch this space for further information.

The registration link to go live for the third episode in the coming days!

Click here to watch the second SIGA-Soccerex Webinar.

Corner area of football pitch, aerial view