International Centre for
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Tue. 14 September 2021

20 years of the FIFA Master

This anniversary, which was held over two days at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, was an opportunity for knowledge sharing, social activities, reconnecting with old friends and the chance to make new ones too for the 100 alumni who had travelled from around the world to take part. All COVID restrictions and travel requirements were fully respected by everybody in attendance, but for those who were still unable to travel, this was the first ever hybrid World Gathering, using a digital environment especially created for participants to access.

The programme of activities commenced on Friday 10th September with a high-level conference organised by CIES and with welcome speeches from FIFA President, Gianni Infantino (please click here to rewatch it), the President of the CIES Council of Foundation, Pierre Cornu and FMA President, Julian Smith. The Sport & Future Conference celebrated the 20th anniversary of the FIFA Master by inviting several prominent alumni to present and participate in panels and presentations which discussed some of the most relevant topics in the sports arena at the moment. 


Panel 1: Women in Sport

Aine Power, FEI Deputy Legal Director, Alumna 11th Edition

Neikelle Moore, Emerson Collective Director of Budget & Management for Sports Investment, Alumna 11th Edition

Francesca Sanzone, FIGC Head of Women’s Division, Alumna 3rd Edition 

Honey Thaljieh, FIFA Corporate Communications Manager, Alumna 12th Edition 

Moderator: Prof. Pierre Lanfranchi, De Montfort University, Leicester


To rewatch Panel 1 please click here


Panel 2: From the Field of Play to the Office: Career Transition in Sport

Emma Twigg, Olympic Champion in Tokyo 2020 and former manager at the IOC, Alumna 15th Edition 

Ji-Sung Park, Football Legend and Manchester United Ambassador, Alumnus 17th Edition

Damien Mollard, Head of office & operations Swiss National football team and former football player, Alumnus 10th Edition

Massimo Busacca, FIFA Chief of Refereeing and former international football referee

Moderator: Prof. Dino Ruta, SDA Bocconi, Milan


To rewatch Panel 2 please click here


FIFA World Cup: 14 months to go

Luca Santaniello, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group Leader


Why we do what we do: an insight into FIFA’s flagship development programme

Jair Bertoni, FIFA Director of Member Associations Americas, Alumnus 5th Edition


Panel 3: Future challenges for the football transfer system

Paolo Lombardi, Sport Lawyer and Founder of Lombardi Associates, Alumnus 3rd Edition

Emilio Garcia, FIFA Chief Legal and Compliance Officer

Raffaele Poli, Head of CIES Football Observatory

Moderator: James Kitching, FIFA Director of Football Regulatory, Alumnus 12th Edition


To rewatch Panel 3 please click here


The conference was concluded by Kimberly Morris, FIFA Chief People, Technology & Operations Officer and closing remarks from Prof. Denis Oswald, CIES Director and Vincent Schatzmann, CIES General Secretary highlighting the CIES 25th Anniversary Interactive History Book.

The day then ended with the traditional friendly football match between the FMA and FIFA employees.

Saturday 11th September was then organized by the FMA Committee. Bringing so many alumni together in one place (both physically and online) presented an important opportunity for the FMA Committee not only to report on its current strategy and the work of its members, but also to listen first-hand to what its members had to say and how this can contribute to the future growth of the association. Hence the organization of the FMA Congress in the morning part of the programme, with the participation of alumni from all continents of Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. This panel included 15th edition graduate, Emma Twigg, who had recently returned from winning an Olympic Gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the Women’s Single Sculls rowing event.

This was truly a special event as part of the CIES 25th anniversary celebrations!

FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 by the SportBusiness International global rankings.

Organised by CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (United Kingdom), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

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