Mr. Praful Patel, President, All India Football Federation commenced the virtual session of the first batch of the AIFF Masters Programme in an online meeting on Thursday (July 9, 2020).
The AIFF Masters, the latest feather in the cap of AIFF under the leadership of Mr. Patel is the first and only sports management course among all National Sports Federations in the country.
Besides Mr. Patel, Senior Vice President Mr. Subrata Dutta, AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das, as well as all the HODs, attended the meeting. Mr. Enrique Perez, Corporate and Business Director, Cadiz CF, the Spanish club with whom AIFF has signed an MoU regarding the AIFF Masters Programme, attended the programme from Spain.
Welcoming all the students of the “first batch of the AIFF Masters course”, Mr. Patel said, “Warm welcome to the inaugural session of AIFF Masters.”
Welcoming all the students who have enrolled in the course after the CAT process, Mr. Patel highlighted the “need for a new breed of football professionals in the country.”
“This is a unique programme by the All India Football Federation. I’m really happy that the first batch is kick-starting in 2020. I know a lot of people are passionate about Football. But we don’t have more talented football administrators in our country. A new breed of football professionals is required, and hence, we took it upon ourselves to start this Masters Programme.”
“The current situation is a bit difficult. I consider the world is moving in one particular direction, and so are we. We have to keep the pace and work accordingly. This too shall pass,” the President opined.
“We intend to build a very robust system on the basis of which all of you will get a very sound future. There will be a lot of opportunities in India, and beyond India. With the comprehensive learning you will be going through, the Masters Course will bring you at par with the best in the world,” the AIFF President stressed. “I will be happy to interact with all of you in person. You are in fine hands. This programme will certainly give you enlightenment and a better understanding of the game.”
“The knowledge of the Spanish language which will be taught during the course will go a long way in your professional career.”
AIFF Masters will be providing the students with complete hands-on experiential training in every aspect of football in India and abroad through live tournament exposure, match staging, clubs and team management, data management, leadership and project management skills, contractual and legal obligations, sponsorship marketing and business communication as well.
Mr. Subrata Dutta, the Senior Vice President of the AIFF, stated: “We would be complying with the highest standard of governance, integrity and all the management ethics. The programme will also give an on-job experience to learn in the right manner, and direction.”
The students will get a unique opportunity to study in three cities over a year – New Delhi, Mumbai and Cadiz (Spain). The multi-campus approach is set to ensure maximum exposure for the students to learn and develop within the different national and international eco-systems of the game. The learning sessions will begin from tomorrow with online classes, under the guidelines issued by the Government of India, before moving to on-campus sessions from September onwards. The students will travel to Cadiz in Spain for a month next year for unparalleled access to the best practices in European Football Club Management.
Congratulating the students, the General Secretary elaborated that “the football world, especially in India is growing significantly.”
“Congratulations to every one of you on successfully clearing the entrance and best of luck to all of you. With the footballing world growing day by day, it’s absolutely necessary to support this eco-system by able managers and administrators. That’s the reason why we thought a course like this is apt at this point of time.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Perez gave the students a feel of the home stadium of Cadiz CF. The club is currently leading the La Liga 2 table and are favourites to qualify to La Liga 2020-21 season.