Published: 06th March 2020
Here's why AIFF's new football management PG diploma course is a game-changer
The AIFF masters course is an intensive year-long post graduate diploma programme that will allow graduates from any discipline to apply
For those who have a keen interest in sports, especially anything to do with football, then there is a unique and exciting new course up for grabs — a one-year post-graduate diploma offered by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the apex governing body for football in India. The AIFF masters course is an intensive year-long post-graduate diploma programme that will allow graduates from any discipline to apply for the Common Admission Test (CAT), conducted by the AIFF. Performance in the CAT and a personal interview are the ones that will assess candidates’ basic knowledge and aptitude in football. The first selection test was held on February 23, 2020.
The AIFF is the first South Asian Federation to have officially launched its diploma programme with the signing of an MOU with Spanish La Liga SmartBank co-leaders Cadiz CF. This is also the first-ever such move by any national sports governing body in India as well. Speaking about the game's popularity in India and why they started this course, Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF, said, "The general awareness about sports has experienced a steady growth of late and it'll increase by manifolds in the coming years. We can foresee we will need more sports professionals to match the requirements and it is the perfect time to launch the course. We should not compare cricket's popularity with any other sports. But, it doesn't mean there is no popularity of any other sports. We have seen a full house in Mumbai when India played at the Mumbai Sports Complex, in Kolkata for the India-Bangladesh FIFA WC qualifier and many other occasions. With the ever-growing popularity of the Indian Super League and other youth tournaments, the general awareness about football is rising and it will rise further."
Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF
What are the unique features that make it so? "The key course modules include Football Club Management and Governance, Match Operations, Player scouting, Player transfers, Sponsorship marketing, International Legal Contracts, Coaching and Training techniques. The students will be able to work at the highest level of any club after going through this complete immersion in practical knowledge and hands-on application," adds Kushal.
Students will also get the opportunity to spend a month at the AIFF headquarters in New Delhi - The Football House - where they can get to know the nitty-gritty of how the federation functions apart from having a first-hand look at the nuances of governing the game. They will also be involved in various events and will work on internship projects with various state football associations in the country for projects that will help them to become aware of the challenges and requirements associated with Indian football.
However, the highlight of the course is that the students get to spend a month in Cadiz, Spain, to experience and learn how a European football
club is managed. One of the most exciting parts of the course is that the students get to learn Spanish. They are coached in the language even before they leave for their stint in Spain. Though the medium of instruction is English for all the modules, knowledge of Spanish is given importance as the students can then liaise with people more easily in Spain.
Apart from having a strong line-up of global football faculty, the course is conducted with a multi-campus approach to ensure maximum exposure. "It is essential to provide an immersive learning experience to the students wherein they gain knowledge and apply it within that same ecosystem. This ensures immediate feedback and avoids the pitfalls of purely academic learning. Our multi-campus approach gives students the rare opportunity of learning Football Governance within the headquarters of the AIFF as well as a top-notch European Football Club," explains Kushal.
The students will get the opportunity to learn at three campuses namely:
1. Delhi Campus - Football House, Headquarters of the All India Football Federation
2. Mumbai Campus - St. Xaviers College, established in 1869, this historic educational institution is amongst the finest in our country
3. Cadiz Campus - Cadiz Football Club, a 110-year-old Football Club which currently leads the La Liga Smartbank points table.