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First international speaker for #FWF2020

Sports activist, public speaker and prolific writer, Shireen Ahmed of Canada, is the first international speaker announced for the 2020 Football Writers’ (and readers') Festival to be held in Jamberoo on 23-24 May.


Ahmed is an all-round sports fan, mentor, football (soccer) player and coach who is a passionate advocate for Muslim women in sport and with a special interest on the intersection of racism and misogyny in sport. 

As well as writing regularly for a variety of media including Sports Illustrated, The Guardian, Teen Vogue, espnW, Vice Sports, Islamic Monthly and Football Beyond Borders, Ahmed is also the co-host of the well-known sports podcast Burn It All Down and writes at her own blog known as Tales from a Hijabi Footballer. She was recently featured as a speaker at 2019 TEDxToronto.

A Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Ahmed is on the advisory board of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) and Hijabi Ballers. She is also on the executive committee of the Muslim Women in Sport Network, and was named on the Muslim Women in Sports Powerlist in 2018.  

“I am thrilled to be participating in the 2020 Football Writers Festival, Coming together to share, learn and connect is an incredible opportunity,” Ahmed said.

“We use football as a vehicle to development and connection. Football has no borders, it has not one single identity. 

“It is a point of intersection for so many things; political, social and psychological. The conversations about football that we ignite are a reflection of where we currently are in the world. 

"I am honoured to be part of conversations that use sport as a catalyst for change and betterment and a push towards justice," Ahmed said.

Ahmed lives near Toronto, Canada, with her four children and cat. 

Other confirmed presenters at the 2020 Football Writers’ Festival include co-authors of the Encyclopedia of Matildas Andrew Howe and Greg Werner, recently retired veteran football journalist Ray Gatt and Professor John Maynard, author of The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe and recently announced Chairman of the Charles Perkins Soccer Academy.

The Football Writers’ Festival will be held in Jamberoo, south of Sydney, over the weekend of 23-24 May 2020. It will include keynote conversations, debates and Q&A sessions, as well as downtime activities such as dinner and trivia at Jamberoo Pub, home of the Johnny Warren Football Museum. It is a joint initiative of Fair Play Publishing and the Johnny Warren Football Foundation.

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