International Centre for
Sports Studies

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


Mon. 20 June 2016

The Home Stretch – May 2016

16th edition class at UEFA Headquarters in May 2016.

As May comes to a close, our class is entering what is now the final stretch of this incredible journey. As summer slowly finds its way to Neuchâtel, we have started celebrating the end of classes with afternoons on the lake, multiple football matches and highly competitive table tennis tournaments.

The last few weeks of the Law sub-module has been nothing short of interesting, engaging and challenging. Jorg Vollmüller from FIFA, Denis Oswald and Pierre Cornu, began by walking us through the different types of sporting events, from the bidding process for the FIFA World Cup to the Olympic Games and the different liabilities and risks associated with sporting events. We were also fortunate to have the opportunity to meet a “FIFA Master” Alumni, Shin Achiwa, from Dentsu in Japan who spoke to us about the development of football in Asia along with the many different football events hosted throughout the region.  

The class was then taken through the highly important topic of ethical issues in sport where we were able to study in detail the issues of doping, betting and match-fixing. We welcomed esteemed professionals from the global anti-doping framework such as Marjolaine Viret and Emily Wisnosky to take us through the updated 2015 WADA code as well as Martial Saugy who gave us an inside look into the importance of laboratories  in the fight against doping. Lastly, we delved into dispute resolution in sport where we were presented with lectures on CAS, the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal and Mediation and Disciplinary Proceedings by experts in the field including Sébastien Besson, Despina Mavromati and Andreas Zagklis. The class is now looking forward to participating in a Moot Arbitration in a few weeks, under the supervision of Antonio Rigozzi,  where we will have the chance to simulate an appeal procedure at the CAS Ad-Hoc Division for the Olympic Games.

In addition to dynamic lectures in the classroom, we have been fortunate to go on some more exciting field visits.  At UEFA, we had a very unique visit where we were able to take part in a Champions League final simulation and take on different key roles that are crucial for the success of the event. We were split into groups and took on the roles of Venue Operations and Broadcast Managers, Venue Services and Sponsorship Managers, Venue Directors and Command Center Officers. Here we were faced with dozens of problems that required quick, efficient and collective resolutions. A further unique visit was our trip to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and the Maison du Sport International (MSI) where many international federations are based. We were warmly welcomed by FEI Secretary General, Sabrina Ibañez, and given presentations on all aspects of the federation including commercial activities, education initiatives, legal issues, corporate communications and digital fan engagement. At the MSI we were able to benefit from some very interesting presentations by the ASOIF President - Francesco Ricci Bitti, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, FISU (International University Sports Federation) and the World Archery Federation. 

The class also visited TEAM Marketing for a few friendly football matches and a dinner with their employees.  It was the first time the 16th Edition fielded a women’s team who were successful with a 2-0 win. The men’s team faced their first loss against TEAM with an unfortunate number of injuries, but later regained some form with a 4-2 win against the UNINE squad – whilst having to contend with a heavy downpour. 

This month, we have had the unique experience of taking part in an Entrepreneurship Workshop where “FIFA Master” Alumni Martin Kaswurm, Alex Proctor-Pearson, Pedro Presa and John Siner, gave us presentations on their companies and provided us with an insight into what it is really like to be an entrepreneur. We were later able to take part in a “Dragon’s Den” exercise where we were split into groups and had to think of ideas to pitch to the panel of FMA’s in order to receive funds for the development of our project ideas. It was really interesting to hear the types of concerns investors have and the different aspects an entrepreneur has to consider when starting his or her own business. 

As we enter June, we all have a strong mix of emotions. The excitement of completing such an amazing course is now coupled with the realization that all thirty two of us will soon part our ways and embark upon a new journey after graduation.  We are now in the home stretch and we plan to close this remarkable chapter of our lives with all the energy and passion that brought us all together nearly eight months ago. 


Natalie Amato and Harjass Singh

Class Representatives for the Law Module.

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