The first recipients of these scholarships were Kenya’s Jerry Santo and Indonesia's Mohamad Hardika ‘Aji’ Drajat Satria. The two player union executives say they are better equipped to represent footballers after completing the master’s degree in Sports Management and Legal Skills.
Both men are player union executives. Santo is acting as General Secretary of the Kenya Footballers' Welfare Association (KEFWA), and Aji, who also has a law degree from the University of Indonesia, is General Secretary of Indonesia player association APPI.
Aji and Santo spent one week on campus, taking classes from Spanish sports lawyers and visiting FC Barcelona and Espanyol. They studied online for the rest of the year-long course. Both were delighted that this collaboration between the school and FIFPRO improved their ability to represent footballers.
At the time, Aji was working on a standard contract for players in Indonesia and pushing for a National Dispute Resolution Chamber to resolve disputes between players and clubs. “I am very grateful to FIFPRO and ISDE to have the opportunity to take this course,” he said, adding that his chance to do a master’s in sports law was invaluable because there is no such course in Indonesia. “I have learnt a lot which will benefit players.”
“I have learnt a lot which will benefit players”— by Mohamad Hardika ‘Aji’ from Indonesian player association APPI
Santo, who at the time was still a player, trained with his club Posta Rangers FC in Nairobi from 8 a.m. then worked at KEFWA before studying for up to four hours a day in the afternoon.
In 2016 he helped KEFWA win an important case on behalf of eight AFC Leopards players after they had their contracts unilaterally rescinded. “The players are starting to embrace our organization when they have issues with their club,” Santo said. “Thanks to this course I am in a better position to help them.”
“I am in a better position to help players”— by Jerry Santo of Kenyan player association KEFWA
50% FEES REDUCTION
As well as handing out two full scholarships each year, ISDE offers players or officials from FIFPro-affiliated unions the chance to receive a 50 percent discount on tuition fees.
Dutch footballer Jordens Peters, who plays for Willem II, and Carlos Figueroa, president of Guatemala’s player association, were both awarded a scholarship for the 2019 course.