Sixty-five graduates have received the UEFA Certificate in Football Management (CFM) and UEFA Diploma in Football Management (DFM) in a ceremony at the House of European Football in Nyon.
UEFA is involved with the academic community in various educational initiatives that are providing concrete benefits to UEFA, its member national associations and European football as a whole.
The UEFA education programme comprises three elements – the Football Management (CFM), followed by the UEFA Diploma in Football Management (DFM) and building up to the Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO). Presidents and general secretaries of national associations can recommend up to two members of staff a year as candidates for both the CFM and DFM.
The third edition of the CFM began last September. Its programme is linked to UEFA's Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS), with the objective of helping and supporting the UEFA member associations in the reinforcement of their knowledge and management of football.
Certificates are awarded through the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP) at the University of Lausanne. A number of central topics are brought together in the CFM programme – the organisation of European and world football, strategic and performance management, operational management, event management, marketing and sponsorship, internal and external communication.
The CFM is now evolving into a national edition concept, having been launched in Croatia and England early this year, and is a natural development of the current format. "This will allow even more people access to the programme, and to enlarge the community that you are now part of," said Thierry Favre, UEFA's head of national associations development. The content of the online modules is the same, but the associations organising a national edition of the programme would have opportunities to involve local experts in face-to-face seminars during the course.
Meanwhile, the DFM has just completed its second edition, which also began last September. National associations' middle managers derive benefit from the DFM by having the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in important areas in the organisation of football events. These include volunteer management, stadiums and security, marketing operations and media operations.
Participants not only apply what they learn back at home in their respective associations, but also exchange experience with representatives of other associations – therefore serving the development of football in Europe as a whole. As with the CFM, the diplomas are issued through IDHEAP at the University of Lausanne. Of course, friendships are made and contacts nurtured within the European football family.
"It is the end of a journey but it is actually the beginning of something bigger – a community made up of the 54 member associations of UEFA, a community made up of qualified professionals who share a common understanding of some of the key functions and management principles applicable to football associations," Favre told the graduates. "A community of open people, willing to share their knowledge and experience, and who imagine how things could be in the future.
"As new UEFA CFM/DFM ambassadors, it is now your responsibility to return to your associations and share this knowledge," he continued. "Try to always improve what you are doing. It is the best way to demonstrate that the knowledge that you have obtained is valid and useful."
IDHEAP professor Jean-Loup Chappelet added: "Sixty-five names ... 33 CFM and 32 DFM [graduates], and this number will continue to grow over the years. There are now more than 150 graduates altogether – we hope these degrees will help you manage your national football associations even better, and perhaps open new career paths. I'm sure most of you will play an important role in the future of football in Europe."
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