International Centre for
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News

Tue. 17 November 2015

16th Edition of the FIFA Master – The Journey Begins

Tuesday November 10th, 2015 (Happy Diwali)

It’s hard to believe we are already eight weeks into the International MA in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport (FIFA Master) Programme!  It seems like just yesterday we were all meeting each other in Victoria Hall, our shared accommodation for the next three months, struggling with jet lag and making predictions about who would be placed in which group for the final project thesis.

The 16th Edition of the course comprises of thirty-two unique individuals from twenty-six different countries with a wide variety of educational and work experience backgrounds. Despite such differences, the thing we have in common is a passion and desire to immerse ourselves in the sporting world, and the FIFA Masters is proving to be the perfect opportunity to do exactly that. 

The first of our three modules is the Humanities of Sport module, which takes place at De Montfort University in Leicester, England; home to the International Centre for Sports History and Culture.  We have just completed our classes on the Birth of Modern Sport, with the opportunity to be taught by leading academics including Martin Polley, Richard Holt, Tony Collins and David Goldblatt. Such classes have provided a great background to contextualize modern sport and give a wider understanding of current issues.

As participants of the 16th Edition of the programme, we are reaping the benefits of a large and established network. We have mingled with alumni dating back to the 4th Edition, and attended lectures by other alumni about their current line of work. For instance, we have had fascinating lectures from former students such as Adam Crothers on NBA media rights, Danis Roberts on the marketing approach of Harlequins FC, and Andres Portabella on club licensing in CONCACAF.  As students, it’s inspiring to learn firsthand from others who were sat in our very seats not too long ago!

Since this programme focuses on practical as well as academic learning, we have been fortunate to visit many historical and influential sporting centres, and to meet with senior executives.  These trips have included visits to Wimbledon, Rugby School, Old Trafford, the National Football Museum and Leicester Tigers RFC. For our most recent overnight trip to Manchester City FC we were welcomed by course alumnus Alexander Staehelin who is now an Infrastructure Commercial manager at the club.  This visit was particularly memorable due to the outstanding hospitality and presentations we received, not to mention our first football match (and win!) against the Manchester City staff team. This was followed by a visit to the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) who made us feel incredibly welcome during their extensive presentations and meeting with Chief Executive Gordon Taylor OBE.  These field visits are more than just enjoyable as they allow us to meet people in a variety of sporting professions and they bring alive our academic experience.

Between the classes and field visits, one of the most valuable aspects of the FIFA Master is spending time with our fellow classmates. The thirty-two students were carefully selected from hundreds of applicants and it really is a privilege for us to share the next nine months with each other. Everyday we challenge and learn from each other and reaffirm that the Scientific Committee selected just the right students for this programme.  Now, eight weeks into our studies, we are all excited about the days ahead and confident that the 16th Edition of the FIFA Masters will create a positive and successful legacy, both in the programme and in our subsequent careers.

Cameron Angus and Shalini Krishnan
Leicester Class Representatives