International Centre for
Sports Studies

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Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 13 December 2021

Understanding the Humanities of Sport leads to a busy November!

Here in Leicester, winter is fast approaching, our time is flying by and amongst all the exciting things the FIFA Master has given us, it is not easy to fit everything in! Our first days in class over three months ago only feel like yesterday but all of a sudden we already find ourselves in December.

However, one of the recent highlights has been the chance for us to work closely in groups as part of our studies in class, take part in some entertaining football matches (and play in our smart new class kit!) and research possible topics for our Final Projects. All of these activities have helped us get to know each other even better and build a strong sense of togetherness within our class as we embrace the FIFA Master course atmosphere. 

We began the month of November with lectures addressing the Internationalisation in Sport. This allowed us to study in detail the history and evolution of both the Olympics and FIFA as entities which began with relatively small ambitions, but which would soon grow to become the global organisations and home of mega-events such as the Summer and Winter Olympic Games and also the FIFA World Cup we all love today. We then had our first Finance classes with Dr Peter Scott to prepare us for later studies in this area at SDA Bocconi. Dr Scott is an absolute legend who made the scariest of subjects in accountancy so much fun and actually exciting for those of us who are new to it. 

The month then concluded with a busy schedule of lectures and guest speakers as part of our Transversal sub-module studies. This included an incredibly diverse programme covering themes such as women in sport, eSport, sustainability, development, sporting foundations, sport in Africa and NGO’s. This was then assessed with an interesting task-based project. Linked to this was the opportunity to have a week-long interaction with FIFA Master alumni Solomon Mudege who is now a key figure in the Football Development Department at FIFA, and who gave us a detailed overview of how the development department functions and their various initiatives around the world. As part of these sessions we had the privilege to attend interactive presentations by industry speakers and researchers, giving us real-life insights into case studies from South Sudan, Gambia and Libya.  

Another of the November highlights we have experienced in the many sessions we attended here in Leicester was Professor Vidar Halldorsson’s lectures on Sport in Iceland. It was an inspiring story and very insightful in understanding how a small country, isolated from the rest of the world, and with a population like Leicester, made it to the World Cup and has overachieved in various other team sports. Their unique model got many of us thinking beyond the class, and now further researching it as a possible Final Project case study area.

Yet another highlight to add to our growing list was the guest lecture by another FIFA Master alumni - Lena Schoeps – who now works for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Lena introduced us to the amazing world of Formula 1 and her work behind the scenes at races around the world. We are extremely grateful Lena could take the time from her race schedule to meet with us in class. 

We have now also completed our final field visits of the Humanities of Sport module. These were memorable trips to the National Football Museum and to Manchester City FC on the blue side of the city.  The breath-taking Etihad Stadium held us in awe with its incredible state of the art facilities and innovative initiatives. Business insight sessions with executives from City Football Group and the Manchester City Women's Football Team were all fascinating. Earlier that day, the chance to explore the impressive National Football Museum collection gave us the opportunity to dive deeper into the history of football in England, with the statue of women’s football pioneer, Lilly Parr, a highlight from our visit. 

Outside of the classroom, we have continued to enjoy discovering the historic city of Leicester and also going on weekend getaways to other beautiful cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds to make the most of our time here in England. 

We were also extremely lucky to receive tickets as a class to attend the Leicester City FC v. Watford Premier League game at the King Power Stadium. For many of us in the class, this was our first ever live Premier League game as we witnessed the Foxes claim an impressive 4 – 2 victory! However, it was not only raining goals, as on a very cold afternoon it began to snow heavily during the match, requiring a brief stoppage to clear the pitch so the referee and players could continue! Seeing real snow from outside of our bedroom windows the following morning was another unforgettable first for many in our international group! 

We have also had the chance to attend an intensive week of Research Methods studies with Dr Kevin Marston. This week of lectures is designed to support us as we prepare and plan our Final Projects for next July and provided an opportunity to better understand our project teammates, brainstorm ideas, understand the importance of critical reading and gain insights on the relevance of a literature review. We are now far better equipped for the task ahead and have buckled our seatbelts to get started on our "road to final project" journey!

The last Thursday of the month was special as we geared up for the annual flagship FIFA Master match for the James Panter Cup. This year the match was between Eurasia and the Rest of the World, which ended with a crazy 4-4 draw after a hard-fought game. Melvin Mendy from Senegal was the man of the match, following an impressive hat-trick! No winner yet, but we will keep you posted about the second leg which will take place soon and see who will take the trophy home. We also played an epic 'Castle Court Clásico' which has already made it into the history books with a score line of 16 - 6! This particular match saw the FIFA Master 22nd edition play students from Spain and other parts of the world who are living in the same student halls as us.

We only have another two weeks in this beautiful city, but we are all conscious of how good time flies by so quickly and so we are trying to enjoy every bit of this thrilling journey we have all embarked on. 

Signing off for now, 

Aisha Nazia & Alberto Trovomala 

22nd Edition FIFA Master Candidates 

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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