International Centre for
Sports Studies

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Mon. 13 June 2022

Field visits to iconic destinations in world football kick-off the month of May

The month of May got off to a cracking start for the 22nd edition of the FIFA Master. Just in its first week, we packed our luggage and jumped on the coach for a series of meetings in the stunning city of Zurich. Over the course of our 2-day stay in the metropolis, we paid visits to centres of football iconography; the FIFA Museum and FIFA’s official headquarters.

On the first day, we were treated to wonderful hospitality at the FIFA Museum. All 29 nationalities represented within the 22nd edition class buzzed around the carefully curated museum, peeking through the displays seeking out any representation of our country within them. There was something for all of us as we proudly photographed our country shirts, flags, titles, information panels and pop-culture artefacts on display in the exhibition space.

The main attraction was, of course, the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Like a piece of jewellery, it stood with great poise glancing across at its prestigious counterpart - the modernised and sleek FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy. We were lucky to have the fantastic FIFA Museum representative, Paval Lara, at our side sharing stories and contextualizing everything our eyes locked on to as we whisked through the cutting edge facility, taking in the lively wall displays at the Museum. The day ended with a visit to the FIFA Library and a get-together in the city centre with FIFA Master Alumni. It was the most appropriate way to cap off a fantastic day and a prelude to what awaited us at FIFA.

After breakfast the following morning, we gathered at the hotel lobby in Central Zurich before taking a short tram ride to FIFA-Strasse (FIFA Road). The perfectly manicured garden led us to the front door of the Home of Football. The dark and gloomy morning skies did nothing to dampen the beaming smiles plastered across the faces of the students of the 22nd edition of the FIFA Master. At the entrance, we met our director for the day, the wonderful Emanuel Femminis.

We gathered in the Executive Committee meeting room with walls decked in country flags of all 211 member associations where decisions on the world’s greatest sport are made. In the middle of our awe entered the 9th President of FIFA, Mr. Gianni Infantino.

President Infantino discussed his high expectations of the class, what was currently on the cards for FIFA in a World Cup year, beyond the World Cup, and shared stories about his experience as FIFA President. He was very generous with his time staying back to fulfil photograph requests from students of the Master.

A lecture series took place on either side of lunch before the highly anticipated first leg of the traditional FIFA Master versus FIFA Staff football match. As the skies cleared, Member Association flags flew gloriously across the length of the FIFA Field, providing a stunning backdrop as the FIFA Master, adorned in Royal Blue, locked horns with FIFA Staff, cloaked in Red. Unfortunately, the first leg swung the way of the FIFA Staff 4-3 with Alberto Trovamala (Italy), Melvin Mendy (France/Senegal) and Rodrigo Tittoto Acra (Brazil/Italy) getting on the score sheet for the class. The second leg will hopefully be played again in Zurich before the end of the semester.

After two weeks of regularly scheduled classes and guest lectures back at our home base at The University of Neuchâtel, we journeyed over to Lausanne for the vastly awaited iWorkInSport Job Fair – the brainchild of our very own FIFA Master Alumni Mr. João Frigerio (5th Edition). It was a day of opportunity and every entrant was motivated and keen to seize the occasion in this very impressive setting.

The Fair sets itself apart as it was a nucleus for the biggest sport organizations to gather, providing a stage where attendees could capitalize on their chance to make a good impression. Participants of the fair encompassed FIFA, UEFA, CAF, The IOC, FIBA and Puma.

Clubs, agencies and firms including San Fernando Club Deportivo (Spain), Servette Geneva (Switzerland), OneFootball, iSPORTiSTiCS, SportPro, Sport Business, DreamHack Sports Games, SRI, Stats Perform, Endeavor, ThinkSport, Automobilist and, Almeida, Dias and Associates Law Firm. We thank all of the organizations for their thoughtful interactions with us on the day.

A very productive day ended with an aperitif at Lacustre in Lausanne. The golden sunset, crisp sea breeze and crashing waves ended the day in the most magical way before our late night journey back to Neuchâtel. If this is what the month of May had in store for us, we can’t wait to see what June brings!

Upward and onward for all 32 members of the 22nd Edition of FIFA Master. 

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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