International Centre for
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Tue. 21 July 2020


A special online Graduation Ceremony was held for the 20th edition FIFA Master class on Friday 17th July 2020.

This important event in the academic calendar was opened by Mr. Pierre Cornu, President of the CIES Foundation Council. The FIFA Master postgraduates, members of the course Executive and Scientific Committees, and distinguished guests were all warmly welcomed to the online Graduation by Mr. Cornu.

This unique event rewarded the hard work and dedication of the entire class over the last academic year, and especially with the health challenges and ongoing disruption currently facing the world at the moment. However, the class has showed great spirit and togetherness in ensuring the successful completion of their studies and this was a moment during which the students could enjoy and also reflect on their academic journey since commencing the course in September last year.

To begin the proceedings, the gathered audience had the surprise of a personally recorded video message from FIFA President, Mr. Gianni Infantino. Here, Mr. Infantino spoke about his vision for the future of football, and sport management in general, and the Final Projects presented by the class the previous day. He also provided some words of advice and guidance to assist the class as they now go on to build their careers in international sport.

Next, the graduating students were joined by the 20th edition class Patron, Mr. Arsène Wenger. The legendary former Arsenal FC Manager is now Chief of Global Football Development at FIFA and took time from his busy schedule to deliver a graduation speech and also answer a few questions. Noting the importance of courses such as the FIFA Master to help the professional growth of the football industry around the world, Mr. Wenger also provided memorable words of advice on the importance of continuing personal development and team spirit.

Following Mr. Wenger’s speech, the postgraduates were called individually by Mr. Vincent Schatzmann, CIES General Secretary, to virtually receive their degree certificates.

Then, Mr. Martin Kaswurm, as President and official representative of the FIFA Master Alumni association, spoke about the importance of the alumni community in the world of sport and welcomed the class as the newest members to the FMA association.

Then, the "Alberto Madella Award", which rewards the group of students who have made the best Final Project presentation was announced by CIES Director Prof. Denis Oswald. For 2020, this award went to two groups for their work on the following topics:

  • They Are Not Referees But They Are Blowing The Whistle: How Are Whistleblowers Impacting The Integrity of Sporting Governance? - Sara Bilali (Morocco), Yash Chugh (India), Igor Markovic (Italy/Bosnia/Croatia/Serbia), Taizo Uchida (Japan)
  • Balancing Books and Balls: An Athlete-centric Approach to Women’s Football - Bonnie Mugabe (Rwanda), Tyson Scott (Australia), Erika Urbina Echeverría (Costa Rica), Bruno Van Hellemont (Belgium)

(All eight of the Final Project research presentations delivered by the class can be viewed again by clicking this link).

Finally, Ms. Alexe Viaud (France) and Mr. Kevin Goco (Philippines) represented the graduates of the 20th edition by addressing the class and looked back on the unforgettable memories created by their academic experience over the past year.

Before closing the ceremony, the President of the CIES Foundation Council thanked the Scientific Committee, administrative and Co-ordination teams at the three partner universities in Leicester, Milan and Neuchatel for their hard work in delivering the course this year. He then invited the new graduates to continue their celebrations with their families and friends by staying online for a few more minutes.

CIES, De Montfort University, SDA Bocconi School of Management and the University of Neuchâtel warmly congratulate the new graduates of the 20th edition of the FIFA Master on receiving their degree certificates  and wish them every success for the future:

· Serge Arnaud Assume Assume

· Sara Bilali

· Luis Breve

· Dagiorto Carrera Lanfranchi

· Yash Vithal Atul Chugh

· James Cronin

· Sanaa Darawsha

· Grégoire Dayde

· Muhammed Ziyaad Desai

· Michael Kevin Goco

· Pacôme Goïc

· Stephanie Holmes

· Isak Hwang

· Violet Jubane

· Laura Judd

· Rishab Kapur

· Eunhye (Jean) Lee

· Igor Markovic

· Diego Martinez

· Alexandre Matsuo

· Bonnie Mugabe

· Mahmoud Qaraqra

· Gustav Maximo Salvestrini Raskov

· Wilhelmina Ingrid (Evita) Schippers

· Tyson Scott

· Taizo Uchida

· Erika Urbina Echeverría

· Caitkie Ranchhordas Vaghjee

· Bruno Van Hellemont

· Alexe Viaud

· Han Bits Yi

· Eduardo Young de Lacerda Tavares


Please also find information about this really special Event on 


FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 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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