The first Football Writers’ Festival gets underway in Jamberoo (NSW) this weekend.
Presented as a celebration of football, writing and ideas, the Festival has attracted some heavy-hitters in the local football world, as well as two keynote international guests.
FFA Chairman, Chris Nikou, will be amongst those attending, as will football commentator and former Socceroo, Craig Foster.
Foster has been prominent in recent months as a putative candidate for the FFA Board – an election at which Nikou was elected – as well as the public face of the campaign to save Hakeem Al-Araibi.
Only two days ago Nikou declared his support for the President of the Asian Football Confederation – the man who is alleged to have been involved in Al-Araibi’s initial incarceration in Bahrain - in the forthcoming regional elections, a decision which Foster has described as “sickening”.
Joining Foster and Nikou will be prominent German sports investigative journalist and author, Jens Weinreich, who is an award-winning international expert on IOC and football corruption, and American author and filmmaker, Gwendolyn Oxenham whose first book explored ways in which women’s soccer was treated around the world compared with men.
The sessions include discussions on football history, football fiction, football biographies and how writing and journalism can also have an activist bent, with speakers including well-known Australian football journalists and recently published authors.
There will also be downtime with a Hyundai Legends Happy Hour attended by past Socceroos and Matildas players, and a trivia night hosted by FOX Sports’ Murray Shaw, which organisers say will not be all about football.
The Football Writers’ Festival is co-convened by the Johnny Warren Football Foundation and Fair Play Publishing and will take place at the home of the Johnny Warren Museum, the Jamberoo Pub.
It will be held over two days, 23 and 24 March. Tickets are $10 for one day/$15 for two days and are available at footballwritersfestival.com.au.
The Festival is supported by Hyundai Australia and Football Victoria.