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Thu. 08 February 2024


Gianluca Famigli

Current Position: Senior Competitions Manager at FIFA

Year of graduation: 2014 (14th edition)

Nationality: Italian

What does your current role involve?

I work in the Women’s Football Competitions Department within the Women’s Football Division at FIFA and our role focuses on three main areas.

Firstly, we manage women’s football specific matters, such as the Women’s International Match Calendar and the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.

The calendar is a very important planning tool that allows confederations, member associations and clubs to define in advance their football activities throughout the year and, together with the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, defines the release dates for international windows and competitions.

The ranking determines the current strength of each national team based on their performances on the pitch and is used for the draws of various international tournaments such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. We also use the ranking as a development tool, because having a ranked national team can result in players becoming role models, inspiring women and girls to play football and increasing participation.

Secondly, as women’s football product owners, we shape existing competitions. This means we set the concepts and the strategic direction of such competitions and we conduct research and analysis to find ways to optimise our senior and youth tournaments.

For instance, thinking of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand, we finalised the strategic details following the expansion to 32 teams (including the creation of a Play-Off Tournament); we were involved in the definition of the tournament dates and match schedule; we took care of specific financial aspects such as prize money and preparation money; and we monitored the legacy activities that sparked from hosting the tournament.

Thirdly, we look at the future of the women’s game in consultation with our stakeholders, exploring potential developmental opportunities and conducting feasibility studies on new youth and senior competitions, both at club and national team level.

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

The FIFA Master was one of the most important steps I took in order to kick-start my career in the sports industry. As I had no previous academic or professional experience in sport, the course introduced me to the peculiarities of the sports management world. Still to this day, I keep using some of the themes learnt during the course in my daily activities, such as strategic planning in sports and the regulatory framework of international sport.

Also, the FIFA Master exposed me to topics that I was not aware of prior to enrolling on the course, such as leadership and the historical evolution of women’s football. Without a doubt, the FIFA Master has shaped my life both professionally and personally.

Finally, the network and the community of the FIFA Master have played a major role in the development of my career in the football industry.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

The FIFA Master is an outstanding course. It is also a consistent source of inspiration and continuously expanding connections. It can help people to develop and improve in many different ways but it requires hard work, commitment and passion.

Therefore, my main piece of advice to future students is to maintain an open-minded approach throughout the course and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Only in this way will you be able to harness the full potential of the FIFA Master and to learn from the academic experts, the visiting industry professionals and each other in class.

Also, my suggestion to those students transitioning from the corporate world to the sports industry is to consider volunteering as an opportunity to put into practice the learnings you get from the programme. Such experiences may open doors to your dream job.

FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked  Europe's No.1 course a record 11 times by SportBusiness.

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

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