The opening ceremony of the first FIFA/CIES Sport Management Programme took place at the School of Physical Education and Sport of the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) on 3 February 2009.

Carlos Villalobos, vice-rector of UCR, and Maureen Meneses, Head of the School of Physical Education and Sport, underlined the great importance of the partnership signed with CIES under the auspices of FIFA. They also expressed their satisfaction that UCR had been chosen to organise "an education programme meant to improve the level of sport management in Costa Rica and the neighbouring countries. The latter will allow managers to work efficiently, in full respect of ethical principles. It will also enable sport to reinforce its important role for social cohesion".

CIES representatives were impressed by the success of the first edition of the programme which will gather 40 students from numerous sporting and professional horizons.

The FIFA/CIES Programme provides basic modern tools in the key areas of sport administration: marketing, management, event management, finance, law and communication.