Through a variety of programmes and initiatives, UEFA's 54 member associations share knowledge and experience with each other for the general benefit of European football.
This spirit of partnership is one of the key values that underpin the UEFA Certificate in Football Management (CFM) programme, which is expanding across the continent in a series of national editions organised by an increasing number of associations.
The Nordic associations are the latest to join forces to give the UEFA CFM its pan-European flavour. The Swedish Football Association (SvFF) has hosted a national edition of the programme – designed to help football administrators learn skills that not only benefit them in their own careers, but also help their organisations profit from the knowledge gained over nine months of studies including online modules and face-to-face seminars.
The Swedish association welcomed six guests from the associations of Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland and Norway. The visiting participants joined 18 colleagues from the SvFF, five Swedish clubs, Swedish regional associations and players' unions and elite football. All 24 participants graduated with flying colours.
"This is a milestone in Swedish football, because we are giving our own staff an excellent opportunity to develop," SvFF president Karl-Erik Nilsson told the graduation ceremony at the Royal Coin Cabinet (Myntkabinettet) in Stockholm. "One of our objectives is also to play an active part within the football family, and [the UEFA CFM] helps to create and strengthen relations with neighbouring countries, particularly in terms of networking between staff members."
UEFA's CFM programme includes studies in football organisation, strategy and strategic management, operational management, marketing and sponsorship, communications, media and public relations, and event organisation. The Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP) at the University of Lausanne awards the certificates, while the course is prepared and conducted by renowned academics from universities in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
"I think it was perfect timing for the Swedish edition," said SvFF participant Matthias Johnsson. "There is an excellent balance of information and analysis, which gave us all the possibility to decide how much each of us wanted out of the programme."
The UEFA CFM community of graduates throughout Europe now numbers around 350. "The programme is a reference point for professional people working in football," UEFA education and universities manager Thomas Junod told the graduates. "It is now your responsibility to share your knowledge within your respective organisations, to help contribute to football's success."
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