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Seventeen officials of player associations from 15 countries including Costa Rica, Switzerland and India have graduated from an executive education program organised by FIFPro and London's Birkbeck University.

The graduation ceremony took place at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam on December 15th. The other officials who completed the course succesfully were from England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Cyprus, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.

“It is incumbent upon us at FIFPro to make sure we have a future generation of leaders ready," Tony Higgins, the President of FIFPro’s Education Committee, said. "This type of course will equip these people with the skills to take them, their unions and, in the end, FIFPro forward."

The course consisted of five two-day seminars spread over a calendar year and homework including presentations and critiques. The participants had to write a dissertation to complete the course.

“What this is about is building and improving the leading capacity of the national players’ associations," Sean Hamill, Director of Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, said.

Anuj Kichlu, International & Commercial Relations manager of the Indian players’ union FPAI, said the program "had a good balance between the theoretical knowledge of Birkbeck and the practical experiences of other, older associations, especially those from Europe."

“It was a tough course, which took a lot of time, but I learned a lot”, said Joachim Walltin, President of NISO Norway and FIFPro Division Europe board member. “I can recommend this program to all other union executives.”

 

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The graduates (pictured from left to right) at Amsterdam's Olympic Stadium:
Paul Raven (England, PFA)
Stephen McGuiness (Ireland, PFAI)
Fraser Wishart (Scotland, PFA Scotland)
Jesus Diaz Peramos (Spain, AFE)
Oshor Williams (England, PFA)
Michael Døi (Denmark, Spillerforeningen)
Steven Bryce (Costa Rica, Acolfutpro)
Spyros Neofytides (Cyprus, PASP)
Bhaichung Bhutia (India, FPAI)
Markus Juhola (Finland, JPY)
Emilian Hulubei (Romania, AFAN)
Magnus Erlingmark (Sweden, SFS)
Joachim Walltin (Norway, NISO)
Anuj Kichlu (India, FPAI)
Klaudia Fabian (Hungary, HLSZ)
Mila Hristova (Bulgaria, ABF)
Antonio Iacovazzo (Switzerland, SAFP)

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