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FIFPro and the University of Nicosia (UNIC), have launched a global initiative that will allow over 1,000 professional footballers from around the world to study Sports Management and Business Administration online.

The 5-year cooperation offers a series of benefits to the participating athletes, including a Scholars Scheme that provides for full scholarships to active professional players, as well as hundreds of other partial scholarships.

“We are delighted to partner with the University of Nicosia”, said Frederique Winia, FIFPro’s Education Director. “Now we can offer a distance learning package to all our members all over the world.”

Education is important for every individual, including professional footballers, added Winia. “FIFPro and our associations encourage players to study for suitable academic or vocational qualifications, to develop their career prospects past their athletic career. The cooperation with UNIC is a great step in supporting this effort.”

“On behalf of the University of Nicosia, we would like to thank FIFPro for the trust they have shown to our University“, said Prof. Nicos Kartakoullis, President of the Council of the University of Nicosia. “This partnership is fully aligned with the values and mission of UNIC to provide world-class education, tailored to the needs of students from all over the world”, added Kartakoullis.

FIFPro has offered European footballers the opportunity to study Sports Management at University College of Denmark since 2011. The first students graduated in 2015. “We will continue our successful cooperation with the University College of Denmark”, said Winia, clarifying that “only a limited number of players can sign-up for this online academy.”

On the other hand, the cooperation with the University of Nicosia greatly expands the organisation’s outreach to players, allowing FIFPro to cater to the educational needs of thousands of players in its associations in Europe and in its 30 member associations in Africa, the Americas and Asia.

The Degrees

At the moment, players can choose one of two degree programmes on offer at UNIC from September 2017:

  • Bachelor in Sports Management (BBA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The University of Nicosia and FIFPro plan to offer more degrees as part of this cooperation in the near future, including Psychology.

The Scholarships

The University of Nicosia will be providing 2 million Euros in scholarships per year, including:

  • Global Scholars: 4 full scholarships - These will be awarded to players on the basis of academic merit or exceptional personal circumstances, based on applications to a joint selection committee;
  • National Scholars: 60 partial scholarships that cover 50% of tuition fees - Each FIFPro member country will receive one such scholarship, to be allocated on the basis of academic merit or exceptional personal circumstances;
  • Academic Scholars: 100 partial scholarships that cover 30% of tuition fees - These will be granted on the basis of academic merit and educational performance;
  • Player Scholars: Up to 1,000 scholarships providing reduced tuition fees linked to athlete pay and economic circumstances in the student’s country, with a 50% maximum reduction, in order to promote accessibility to higher education in all FIFPro member countries.

Interested players can obtain information about the initiative and degree programmes via the website

Professional footballers can also contact the player union in their country (see Contacts page in this section), or FIFPro's Nienke van Gerven.