Fifty students attended the opening ceremony of the first edition of the FIFA/CIES Programme of sport management in Kiev on 19 October. Financially supported by the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU), the latter is organised by the National University of Physical Education and Sport of Ukraine (NUPESU) that has educated dozens of world and Olympic champions since its foundation in 1930.

Prof. Vladimir Platonov, President of the University, expressed his satisfaction to host a Programme destined to offer a better understanding of the sporting world and its needs: "It is especially important nowadays as sport is threatened by great economic discrepancies".

For his part, Oleksandr Bandurko, FFU Vice-President, stressed that the learning could be immediately applied and implemented to the organisation of the EURO to take place in the country in 2012. Finally, Bertrand Reeb, CIES President, pointed out the significance of the project: "FIFA and FFU's initiatives in the field of education are exemplary. We can only wish that sport organisations and the academic world develop closer and closer relationships".

The students - most of whom have already important functions within sport entities, in particular the FFU, football leagues and football clubs - will follow three intensive course weeks until April 2010.