The 1st International Professional Football Administration Conference "Footballabout" which was organized by the Super League and was held in the Divani Caravel Hotel on January Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 with the participation of distinguished Greek and international football officials, was a landmark for the Greek as well as the European sports scene as regards the changes required so that Greek and European football can evolve and modernise.
Among the participants were Mr Giannis Ioannidis, Deputy Minister of Culture Responsible for Sports; Mr Giorgos Sarris, President of the HFF; Mrs Eva Pasquier, Senior Development Manager for Europe FIFA; Mr Alex Phillips, Head of Stakeholders Affairs UEFA; Mr Emanuel Macedo De Medeiros, CEO EPFL EPFL; Mr Frederic Thiriez, Vice President EPFL and President French Football League; Mr José Luis Astiazarán, President Primera Division (LFP); Mr Frank Rutten, CEO Dutch Football League Eredivisie; Mr Hasan Ankicioglou, Vice President Turkish Football Super League; Mr Konstantinos Louropoulos, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer OPAP SA; and many others.
The President of the Superleague, Mr Yannis Moralis, during his greeting pointed out the need for a constructive dialogue and a continuous cooperation with the other European Leagues aiming at upgrading football. During his speech, he outlined the problems ailing Greek society and Greek football, which is a mirror of it, pointing out that "operating in a state that has failed its overall decade-long efforts to come up with solutions towards something as important as the living of Greek citizens, let alone improving a business sector as football, we find it exceptionally difficult to readily solve such ailing problems."
Concluding, Mr Moralis suggested to the participants options to exit from the crisis, stating the following: "If we comprehensively support the Greek football player, with a programme and strategy and not because of the crisis, if we all change – the state, organized football, fans and media – the structures and mentalities that led us to this deadlock, if we pay due attention to our infrastructures, if we approach citizens with honesty and awareness, if we strike now amidst the crisis at phenomena of illegitimacy and intransparency – wherever such may be – and if we all join our efforts, putting aside short-sighted and public relations interests, then yes, I honestly believe that we will enjoy a better future in football."
The Vice President of the Superleague, Mr Giorgos Borovilos, addressed the role media and journalists can play in not presenting violent incidents occurring in the stadia, in pointing out the failings and in promoting the values of football.
Mr Mihalis Anagnostou, Superleague General Manager, who concluded the works of the conference, pointed out that the Super League, as a responsible institutional body, in performing its duties took this initiative, in the midst of a dire social and financial environment, and invited distinguished officials from advanced and emerging international leagues, the FIFA and UEFA in order to submit their opinions and proposals for the mutual problems and how to deal with them.
By general consent, the conference was completely successful, setting the basis for a creative discussion and will definitely constitute the beginning for a series of similar activities of the Superleague as regards the planning and modernisation of Greek football.
As evident from the presentations of the speakers, the vast majority of all football stakeholders will support and aid this effort.