All India Football Federation president Praful Patel on Thursday kicked off the virtual session of the first batch of AIFF Masters Programme during an online meeting. The AIFF Masters is the first and only sports management course among all National Sports Federations in the country.
"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," Patel stressed. "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 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.
Subrata Dutta, AIFF senior vice-president, 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 an 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 Friday 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 access to the best practices in European football club management.
Congratulating the students, AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said that "the football world, especially in India is growing significantly."
"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."
Enrique Perez, corporate and business director at Cadiz CF, the Spanish club with whom the AIFF has signed an MoU regarding the AIFF Masters Programme, attended the programme from Spain. 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.