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Announcing international guests for #FWF23

With six months to go until the 2023 Football Writers' Festival, we are delighted to let you know that authors, journalists, broadcasters, and commentators from eleven countries form the international line-up.

The Festival will take place at Tar-Ra/Walsh Bay in Sydney from 15th to 17th July, days ahead of the opening match in Australia of the Women’s World Cup.

#FWF23 International Line-Up

L-R starting with top row: Jens Weinreich, Nick Harris, Clare Shine, Osasu Obayiuwana, Laura Williamson, Annesha Ghosh, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Marcela Mora y Araujo, Matthew Hall, Philippe Auclair, Ciara McCormack, Tariq Panja, Sally Freedman, James Corbett, Jens Sejer Andersen, Faye Carruthers


The international guests include three former players:

Thomas Hitzlsperger is a 52-game German international who played for Stuttgart and Aston Villa (amongst others) who was until recently chief executive of Stuttgart. He is now a football commentator for German TV and a Diversity Ambassador for the German FA, as well as the co-founder of Future4Nepal, the football charity partner of the Football Writers’ Festival.

Ciara McCormack of Canada played eight games for Ireland, and who had a professional career in Denmark, Norway, and Australia. Her whistleblower testimony was critical in legal investigations into how a professional club and national federation responded to allegations of se*ual abuse by high profile coaches.

Clare Shine is a 27-year-old described by commentators as “a prodigious underage talent” for Ireland who is no longer a professional player. She has written a book about her struggles with alcohol and drug addiction entitled Scoring Goals in the Dark.

They are joined by some of the most prominent football journalists and authors from around the world including Philippe Auclair (France Football and Josimar), Faye Carruthers (talkSPORT and more), James Corbett (Off the Pitch), Nick Harris (Mail on Sunday), Tariq Panja (New York Times), Laura Williamson (The Athletic).

High profile freelancers who will be present are Marcela Mora y Araujo of Argentina – one of the few people alive to have interviewed Alfredo Di Stéfano, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi; Osasu Obayiuwana of Nigeria; and Jens Weinreich of Germany who is one of the foremost sports investigative journalists in the world.

Also attending from Denmark is Jens Sejer Andersen of Play the Game, a journalist and prominent sports governance expert and adviser to the Council of Europe and UNESCO.

Completing the international guest list are author and former football executive Sally Freedman whose book “Get Your Tits Out for the Lads” is being launched in July, multi-platform journalist Annesha Ghosh from India, and Australian expat journalist and author Matthew Hall who predominantly writes for The Guardian.

Nick Harris will anchor one of the highlights of the festival via a Geoffrey Robertson style ‘Hypothetical’ that canvasses issues around the future of football and clubs in an evening session at Wharf 2 of the Sydney Theatre Company entitled What matters in football in the 21st century?

There will also be a Football Literary Curry and Trivia at Manjits Wharf Restaurant, Barangaroo.

Read more about our international line-up. The Australian line-up will be announced next month.

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