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FIFA/CIES International University Network

Sofia Malizia, an alumna of two CIES training programmes, is now working at FIFA

An excellent career path for Sofia Malizia! After obtaining her FIFA/CIES Executive Programme diploma organised with Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) in Buenos Aires, she successfully completed the 18th edition of the FIFA Master in July 2018.  The doors to FIFA then opened and she has been working there since the summer of 2018. In this interview, Sofia shares a few impressions on her career with us.

What are your current responsibilities within FIFA?

I am working as a coordinator within the Member Association Governance Department at FIFA. Our department is tasked with political and diplomatic issues linked to Member Associations, i.e. the 211 football federations affiliated to FIFA. It consists of two different pillars: Crisis management and prevention. Concerning the first pillar, we can identify two crisis categories: Crises which are the consequence of external interference in the business of Member Associations (MAs) and crises which arise from internal tension. As crisis prevention, we work on reviewing the statutes of the MAs and on promoting good governance rules. In addition, I am also in charge of coordinating preparation of a Governance Handbook for Women’s Football officers working at MAs. The document covers two main areas: Women’s football and women in football.

What did you gain from the UCA/FIFA/CIES Executive Programme?

The Programme was an excellent experience. The curriculum allowed me to gain increased understanding of the different facets of the sports industry and football, particularly in Latin America. Classes were very dynamic and favoured interaction between students, teachers and speakers. I really enjoyed the atmosphere, which was conducive to fruitful discussions. Finally, the Programme gave me access to a broad network of contacts and friends, who are today my references in various fields of sport.

Concerning the FIFA Master, what aspects of the curriculum were the most useful for your career?

I think that the FIFA Master represented a key factor in my career development. The three modules (humanities, management and sports law) allowed me to broaden the knowledge of the sports industry I had acquired before. I was given the opportunity to meet many professionals, whether they were classmates, teachers, experts or speakers. I shared experiences with them which allowed me to understand them better. Like the Executive Programme, the FIFA Master gave me the opportunity to extend my network, to be in contact with people who are today essential in my career. Many alumni today hold important positions in sport. Last but not least, the FIFA Master gave me the tools needed for professional development, to work in an international environment. Thanks to this training, I can find solutions suited to different contexts, mentalities and cultures.

What are your favourite memories of FIFA and Switzerland up to now?

I have not been at FIFA very long, but I have already had the opportunity to travel to many countries and to discover different ways of working. In fact, what I enjoyed most – my best experience - was the opportunity to attend some of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches in France. For me, this event marks an essential step. For women’s football, there will unquestionably be “a before and an after”. As for Switzerland, I really appreciate the fact that some of my classmates as well as many FIFA Master alumni live here.  It is comforting to know that you are going to live in a country where you can count on friends and have several opportunities to see them.