Footballer Zidane, winner of the 1998 World Cup with France.


Real Madrid boss Zidane, Seedorf to visit Dubai


DUBAI – Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane and former Dutch football star Clarence Seedorf will headline a stellar cast of speakers at the first Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports (DAIS) conference.

Being organized under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the two-day DAIS Conference and Exhibition will bring together top stars and decision-makers from the world of sport.

DAIS takes place on October 14 and 15 at Dubai World Trade Centre’s Sheikh Rashid Hall with sessions starting 9am.

Zidane, one of the legends of the game and winner of the 1998 World Cup with France, will be speaking on the opening day of the Conference. The Frenchman has been a regular visitor to Dubai and has attended two editions of the Dubai International Sports Conference as well.

Seedorf, meanwhile, will speak about “Sports Academies And Technology” alongside former Ukraine swimmer Yana Klochkova in the final session of Day Two. Klochkova has won four Olympic gold medals and a silver, and 10 World Championship medals, while Seedorf was regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, playing for top clubs like Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan in his decorated career.

DAIS has attracted a number of other high profile speakers as well, including Professor Jesse Davis from the Department of Computer Science at Belgian research university, KU Leuven. A recent study, conducted jointly KU Leuven and data intelligence company SciSports and headed by Prof Davis, analysed nearly 7,000 matches in seven competitions to see how professional football players perform under pressure and what decisions they make in critical match situations. The won the Best Paper Award for applied data science at a recent conference in Alaska.

The list of speakers also includes Marc Raibert, who was professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT before founding Boston Dynamics, a robotics company known for creating BigDog, Atlas, Spot, and Handle, and Dr Christian Guttmann, a leading scientist and entrepreneur in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science.

Raibert has developed the first self-balancing hopping robots, a significant step forward in robotics, while Dr Guttmann has edited and written seven books, over 50 publications and four patents in the field of Artificial Intelligence. The two world renowned academics will keynote a Day One session titled, “Looking Ahead at the Future of AI in Sport”.

A number of sports leaders representing different international sports federations will also be speaking at DAIS Conference and Exhibition. The list includes Colin Webster, President of International ESports Federation, who will discuss “Innovation and Development in Sports” on Day 2, alongside Dr Alessio Rossi, a PhD in “Biomedical Research” and Post-Doctoral Researcher at University of Pisa where he has co-authored a study titled “Effective injury forecasting in soccer with GPS training data and machine learning”, Johannes Holzmuller, head of Football Technology and Innovation section at FIFA.

Donnie Nelson, the General Manager and President of basketball operations at NBA team Dallas Mavericks, will get the discussions started on Day One, by discussing “Fans and Smart Stadiums” alongside Dorukhan Acar, Board and Executive Committee member of Turkish club Galatasaray SK and its Chief Treasurer; Bryn Balcombe, Chief Strategy Officer for Roborace, a motorsport competition for human and AI drivers; and Sakis Tassoudis, Vice President and General Manager of German enterprise software giants SAP.

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Championship that uses only electric-powered cars in their races, will speak about the “Future of Sports” on Day Two alongside Bibop Gresta, chairman of crowd-sourced American research company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Prof Davis, and Simon Clegg, who is one of UK’s most experienced sports leaders having served as Chief Executive of British Olympic Association and managed Team Great Britain athletes at 12 Olympic and Olympic Winter Games.

Rigan Machado, an 8th degree red and black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a celebrity coach, is flying down from Hollywood to attend DAIS. Machado, who has trained the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Vin Diesel, Wiz Khalifa and Chuck Norris, will share the dais with Susanna Rahkamo, Vice President of Finnish Olympic Committee and head of International Skating Union’s Development Commission, and Dr Alexis Champion, who holds a PhD in Informatics (Artificial Intelligence), in a session titled: “AI – A Longer Sporting Lifecycle”.

The NBA will be represented by their Vice President and Basketball Africa League President Amadou Gallo Fall, who will discuss “Major Championships and the Challenges of AI” along with Jan Pommer, Director of Germany’s Thoroughbred Breeding and Races federation and former Director of ESL-Turtle Entertainment, which is one of the largest eSport company in the world, and Laszlo Vajda, a former Hungarian figure skater who has served as International Strategist and Communications advisor for Beijing 2022.


What: Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports (DAIS) conference and exhibition
When: October 14-15
Where: Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre
Sessions start: 9am


ADVERTISE HERE Find or post new jobs, motor ads and classifieds

Explore Expat Media