WFS & the growing role of women in football

· by Pablo M. Dorado

Madrid, August 21, 2018.- The role of women in the world of football and their environment will be represented at the World Football Summit (WFS) by four women of the highest professional and personal value. Each one in its own area of activity represents an example of the importance of women’s equal access to decision-making positions that the football industry has been reserving exclusively for men, on the basis of their acquired merits and equal opportunities.

The first is Khalida Popal, an example of personal and permanent growth. Born in Kabul, the former captain of Afghanistan’s national women’s football team received many personal and family threats from those who consider football to be an activity unbecoming of women and contrary to the theses of Islam. Finally, at the risk of losing her life and the repeated attacks on her loved ones, she was forced to leave her job, leave Afghanistan and take refuge in India. Today, at 31, she lives in Denmark, studies at the Copenhagen Business Academy and runs the Girl Power Organization, a non-profit organization whose aim is to use sport to promote and improve the inclusion and social participation of minority groups such as immigrants, refugee women and LGBTB in the EU.

The second woman is Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, a Kenyan with a law degree from Moi University, internship at the Kenyan Law School and then at the University of Birmingham, University of Birmingham, where she received a fellowship to study Shariah and Governance thanks to the prestigious Chevening Scholarships. Founder and Executive Director of the Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI), she has developed a unique programme entitled “Shoot to score, not to kill”, which aims at the peaceful resolution of conflicts in areas of persistent tribal warfare, such as her home region of Marsabit, Kenya. With football as a tool, HODI is equally empowering women and girls to have a more prominent and active voice in the community. HODI graduates become role models in their respective communities, always seeking the process of building and strengthening the peace.

The third member is Danna Rabin, CEO of HEED, a digital platform that uses Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to transform the way that committed fans consume sports, soccer, and live entertainment, enhancing the experience inside the venues. As a global business and technology executive, Danna Rabin was formerly COO of Vocativ, an innovative media company that used proprietary technology to explore the web for original news, stories and video production. She was the executive producer of Dark Net, an original documentary series created by Vocativ Films for Showtime and aired on January 2016. She has also worked as chief of staff and President of new initiatives at AGT International, the pioneering technology firm in IoT, deep social data management analysis, big data integration and advanced analysis.

Finally, Vosse de Boode, head of the Sports Science and Analysis department at AFC Ajax, is a renowned scientist and expert in biomechanics and sports physiology, currently involved in the collection and analysis of data on the physical performance of Ajax players, as well as its subsequent application in technical and tactical fields.

About World Football Summit

World Football Summit (WFS) is the international event of the football industry, gathering the most influential professionals in order to discuss the most relevant topics and generate business opportunities. During 2 days, Madrid will be transformed in the capital of the football industry. In its 2nd edition, WFS gathered more than 2.000 attendees, in which 31% came from abroad. The third edition, which will be held in Madrid on the 24th and 25th of September, and counts with the support of LaLiga and London Football Exchange as Global Partners; Microsoft, WWP, Johan Cruyff Institute, Vitelsa, Wolters Kluwer, Senn Ferrero, European Leagues and Marca España. WFS will host its first international edition in Malaysia, on April 29th and 30th, 2019.