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News

Wed. 10 May 2017

“FIFA Master” Alumni – Where are they now? Jair Emanuel Bertoni

Jair Emanuel Bertoni

Current Position: Director Member Associations Americas at FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)

Year of graduation: 2005 (5th Edition)

Nationality: Argentinian / Italian 

My current position in sport

I joined the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) as Director of Member Associations Americas in November 2016 after working 9 years as Head of Cabinet in the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL). Right after graduating from the “FIFA Master” in 2005, I had the pleasure to work with its administration for 6 months in the revision, coordination and refurbishment of the Management Module in Milan.

At the EPFL, I was responsible for managing the operational and political relations with senior authorities of football governing bodies (such as FIFA, UEFA, FIFPro, ECA, etc.), as well as European and international political institutions and national governments. I administered the main decision-making bodies of the EPFL (General Assembly and Board of Directors), being accountable for the planning, implementation and follow-up of their decisions and initiatives, as well as the administration, co-ordination, articulation and supervision of all operations and projects performed by the EPFL Bureau. In this position, I also had the privilege to be member of several bodies within the framework of UEFA (Working Group (WG) on Calendars, WG on Intermediaries, WG on Transfer Matters, among others) and the European Social Dialogue (Task Force for the Implementation of the Autonomous Agreement, etc.)

Before joining FIFA, I was invited as a keynote speaker on professional football at several international conferences and courses of sport management and law organized around the globe by specialized academic institutions, including the FIFA/CIES University Network. I also had the possibility to perform as a UEFA Venue Director.

Currently in FIFA, my position entails a vast variety of tasks. Constant dialogue with Member Associations (MAs) and Confederations is a key part of my job. I am the primary contact for the MAs and Confederations (CONMEBOL and CONCACAF) in my region, being able to act as a FIFA resource and adviser and provide orientation on different activities, information and services of FIFA. The strategic development of MAs and Confederations demands a complete understanding of their football requirements, but also of their specific context, which is crucial for my position in order to assist them to effectively manage, monitor and implement the FIFA Forward (FIFA’s main and sole development programme) at national and regional level.

During the last 6 months, I have been interacting with FIFA Member Associations and the relevant Confederations to establish clear development proposals, implement good governance, carry out capacity building activities and identify the main objectives for football development in the region, among other tasks. Being the nexus between FIFA and MAs/Confederations provides me with a comprehensive view of all their needs and challenges as well as the possibility to monitor their political, financial and sporting situation in order to coordinate activities with other FIFA divisions and thus provide them with comprehensive and effective counselling for their continuing football development.

With the aim of accomplishing these objectives and activities, it is also important for FIFA to be close to its MAs and deliver high quality services. For this reason, we are opening regional offices worldwide, being myself responsible for directing, planning, coordinating and supervising the work of the staff located in Panama and Asuncion, where these regional offices are to be opened. My main objective is to implement the vision of FIFA, which is to bring football development to every corner of the world and shape positively the future of the game on and off the pitch at national and global level.

Which aspects of the “FIFA Master” course have helped you most in your career?

The “FIFA Master” was a great experience from a professional and personal perspective. The social aspect of it was as important as the academic one. The opportunity to study in such a multicultural environment and to be surrounded by students from different countries was enriching for learning about the sporting culture, passions and idiosyncrasies of other parts of the globe. Visiting many sporting organizations and receiving lectures from sports experts provided me with a broad understanding of the different elements that strategically structure the actions and policies of the sports industry. This practical experience was also expertly complemented with the theory provided by the professors in each university in England, Italy and Switzerland, where the “FIFA Master” takes place. The “FIFA Master” provides you with all the fundamental skills, network, and knowledge needed to be fully equipped to face the challenges of the international sports industry.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

Being part of this course and extensive network of the “FIFA Master” has enabled me to really grasp the essential components and general concepts of sport management, law and history and what is essential in order to fit professionally within the sector. The Master principally encompassed innovation and strategic thinking. Interacting with so many experts from the sports industry, many of whom are former alumni of the “FIFA Master”, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It really changes the life of people, both from a professional and personal perspective. The “FIFA Master” is indeed a great school of life! You simply cannot miss it.

 

The “FIFA Master" - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport is organized by the CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (Leicester, UK), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel. In 2017 the “FIFA Master” was ranked as the No.1 course in Europe for the fifth time by the SportBusiness International global rankings.

Discover more examples of inspiring "FIFA Master" alumni career paths by clicking here.