The FIFA Master, organised by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), was named the top sports management programme in the world by SportBusiness International magazine during an event in Lausanne on 8 May 2014.
Having ranked second in the world in 2012 and 2013, the FIFA Master has claimed the top spot this year. In recognition of this distinction, the CIES was presented with a prize during the first International Convention for Careers in Sports, part of the Work in Sports Exhibition (WISE) in Lausanne.
Run by the International Centre for Sports Studies and endorsed by FIFA, the FIFA Master was established in 2000 with the goal of promoting specialised management education for sports. It has evolved over the years to become a leading graduate programme that cultivates all-round managers equipped to cope with the increasingly complex challenges in the sports world.
The CIES General Secretary, Vincent Schatzmann, expressed his delight at the accolade. "Being named the top sports management programme in the world is an outstanding achievement. At once a reward and an incentive to carry on, it is a tribute to the hard work of the academic and administrative staff at the CIES, but above all to the efforts of the teachers at the FIFA Master's three partner universities – De Montfort University in Leicester, the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan and the University of Neuchatel," he stated.
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke, meanwhile, voiced his "satisfaction" that the FIFA Master had been recognised internationally, going on to say that he was "not surprised". "Leaving aside pride and prestige, I know that our collaboration with the CIES has long been bearing fruit, because a very large number of graduates from the programme are now working for major sporting institutions, FIFA included. In light of the rapid professionalisation of the sports world, it is vital that we train specialised managers," Valcke noted.
"We would also like to congratulate all of our former students who worked so hard to get where they are now, with positions at a range of sporting organisations all over the world. They contributed to making the FIFA Master a world leader in terms of sports education. Finally, we would like to thank FIFA, without whom all of this would never have been possible," added Schatzmann.