Georgetown webinar shares story of Qatar's search for football's next superstars
February 13 2021 10:00 PM
Sebastian Abbot
Sebastian Abbot

Qatar Foundation (QF) partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is hosting former Associated Press (AP) reporter Sebastian Abbot for a discussion of his critically acclaimed book, 'The Away Game', which tells the story of a group of boys discovered through a Qatar-funded football talent search that made sports history and changed lives.
The webinar will be held at 6pm Sunday.
The lecture is a part of the Building a Legacy: Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 research initiative at GU-Q’s Centre for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), which seeks to examine the implications of staging the world’s greatest sporting event on the social, political and economic development of Qatar as well as on regional and global affairs.
According to visiting associate professor Dr Danyel Reiche, who is leading the CIRS research initiative, the programme at the heart of Abbot’s book had a significant impact beyond the pitch. “What the Aspire Football Dreams initiative has done is to significantly upgrade the lives of children from the Global South. Not only did the select few have the opportunity to become professional players, they also received housing, a sound education and further support for their families.”
Aspire Academy, which oversaw the talent search programme that scouted more than 3.5mn boys around the globe, also used its global network to promote the 'Football Combating Malaria' humanitarian project in co-operation with the Lionel Messi Foundation. 
Prior to serving as the AP bureau chief in Pakistan, Abbot worked in investment banking and private equity in New York and Boston, US. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. 
Registration for the public webinar is available here.

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