UEFA's mission as governing body of European football also includes helping one-time professional sportsmen and women to move into new careers after time is called on their playing days.
To underline this commitment to assisting former athletes in their preparations for new challenges, over the past three days UEFA has hosted a group of ex basketball, football, handball, rugby and volleyball players who are studying sports management with the French-based Centre de Droit et d'Economie du Sport (CDES). The group included Zinédine Zidane, the France midfielder who won the FIFA World Cup, UEFA EURO 2000 and UEFA Champions League in his distinguished career.
The centre is situated in Limoges, has been in operation since 1978, and offers university-style sports studies through a variety of courses in areas such as law, economics and sports management. The House of European Football in Nyon hosted a seminar as part of the two-year university diploma course for future general managers of professional sports clubs. Many of the participants are already involved in working in various branches of sports management.
UEFA administration officials gave presentations on UEFA's activities and structures, organisational aspects of a UEFA Champions League match, preparations for UEFA EURO 2016 in France, and the lessons to be learned from last summer's successful UEFA EURO 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
Course topics for the diploma include the unique nature of professional sport's economic sector, management of human resources, legal management of professional sport, and business models for professional sports clubs.
UEFA is also cooperating with the CDES on the Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO), a training programme open to elected representatives and managerial staff working in sports bodies. UEFA is directly engaged as one of the six sporting partners of the MESGO.
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