International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 15 May 2017

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk along the lake…”

While a sunbathed Neuchâtel welcomed our class and assisted us in settling down by the lake, we kicked off the last leg of what is often described as the “fastest module” of the “FIFA Master”. The first official event of the module was a walking tour of Neuchâtel followed by a welcome aperitif with the Scientific Committee and alumni at Au Gallop. This is a place we grow more fond of as each day passes by.   

Classes followed and much to the surprise of all the non-lawyers, the law module did not just involve mountains of paper and massive volumes of books. Prof. Oswald, Prof. Probst, Prof Mavroidis and Matthias Berg handled the first week of classes, showing us that law has played an important part in our daily lives in sports and allowed us to identify the effect that our “acts” or “omissions” may have caused from a legal perspective.

The ‘black and white’ print of the regulations was made more colourful by our guest lecturers, Omar Ongaro and Andrea Traverso. Mr. Ongaro and Mr. Traverso took us through FIFA’s transfer regulations, UEFA’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations respectively, using cases which many of us were familiar with. These cases led to extensive discussions, particularly by the former professional football players in our class, who reflected on just how closely their transfers had been monitored and regulated.

We also had the pleasure to meet course alumni such as Michael Gerlinger, Diedrik Dewaele, Alberto Colombo and Shin Achiwa as guest lectures through the first month of the module. While on the one hand we got to see firsthand how far alumni have progressed in the careers and understand the opportunities available to us, we were also regaled with stories from their day to day work, illustrating how a job relating to rights and obligations can actually be quite entertaining and challenging.

With four weeks of classes and weekly football sessions already behind us, we could not wait for our first field visit to get underway to the home of football, the FIFA Headquarters in Zurich. We were greeted here by Mr. Zvonimir Boban, the Deputy Secretary General of FIFA and a childhood hero for many of us. He was joined by representatives from different departments – many of whom are FIFA Master alumni – and who all gave us an invaluable insight into what it feels like to work at the heart of football. This opportunity complemented what we had previously learnt throughout the course. Their kind and generous hospitality was capped off with the FIFA Masters’ football team winning what is arguably the most important fixture on our calendar, 6-5.

With our first Sports Law module examination completed, we moved to the end of April with classes from Ashley Ehlert, Jason Smith and Prof. Madalina Diaconu, as well as a lecture from Mr. J.-M. Hainaut from Ernst and Young. He kindly spoke to the class on the complex, but important, area of taxation in sport. We also had lectures by Prof. Zufferey and practicing lawyers Mr. Magerle and Mr. Ramoni who broke down seemingly complex legal topics such as employment law and personality rights into clear legal lectures.

While the rain clouds continue to hover over Neuchâtel, and with the Final Project and jobs starting to appear in conversations more often than not, we are now looking forward to what the remaining part of the module will bring, and more days of sun, football and barbecues by the lake.  


Shoko Tsuji and Srinivasan Saimani - Class Representatives for the Law Module in Neuchâtel


The International MA in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport - the “FIFA Master” 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.