International Centre for
Sports Studies

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


Mon. 14 June 2021

CIES signs a partnership agreement with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates Football Association

Partnering since 2015, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (SUAD) and the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), have signed a cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA) to develop and strengthen the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Sports Management organised in the country. The event took place on 10 June 2021 at the UAEFA headquarters in Dubai.

The three institutions sealed their partnership in the presence of HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, President of the UAE Football Association, Prof. Silvia Serrano, Vice Chancellor of SUAD, Pierre Cornu, President of the CIES Council of Foundation, Mohammed Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of UAEFA, as well as Sanjeevan Balasingam, FIFA Director of Members Associations Asia and Oceania. This cooperation aims to give a broader basis to the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme organised in the UAE in cooperation with SUAD since 2015. The programme provides students with general knowledge of the sport and football environment, including law, marketing/sponsorship, finance, communication, event management and management.

HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi commented that the partnership was, “A huge jump for the football sector into building new relations in the educational sector. We aim to build new bridges of knowledge and development throughout our partners in supporting them to achieve the purpose of their programmes. We will work hand in hand into uplifting the sports education programmes and create new educational courses”. The President concluded, “The modern world requires joint forces into creating new methods of learning in order to ensure a secured future of knowledge for our youngsters.”

Active in 17 countries in Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, CIES is pleased to strengthen its activities in the UAE. As the President of the CIES Council of Foundation, Pierre Cornu, noted, "By signing this contract, CIES is happy to continue its cooperation with SUAD which dates back to 2015. Our work has been fruitful as students from the university have won the FIFA/CIES University Network Award twice with innovative projects on sustainable development and e-Sport. Furthermore, we are pleased to collaborate with the UAE Football Association. Their support is essential to make our Programme an indispensable tool to train the sport and football managers of today and tomorrow.”

Finally, Prof. Silvia Serrano, Vice Chancellor of SUAD concluded: “Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is committed to providing professionals with the necessary skillset and knowledge to succeed in the sports industry, an industry which plays a significant role in the culture and economy of the Middle East region. We aim to graduate individuals who can cope with the ever-changing challenges of the global sports industry, and I am confident that this fruitful cooperation with the UAE Football Association and CIES will provide positive outcomes towards improving the calibre in the sports industry and consequently developing the industry.”

The next edition of the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in the UAE will start in September 2021.

For more information:

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

Phone +971 (0) 2 65 69 330

Phone +971 (0) 2 65 69 555

official website:




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