Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) employee Mead al-Emadi has become the first Qatari to graduate from the prestigious FIFA Master programme, as she continues to contribute to the team preparing the country for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.
Al-Emadi, who is the SC’s head of Education & Sport Engagement, successfully graduated in July after 11 months of hard work. The FIFA Master is regarded as one of the sporting industry’s flagship post-graduate programmes and she was one of just 32 people who won a place on the course – from among more than 600 applicants.
Al-Emadi, who has worked at the SC since 2012, described the course as “an amazing opportunity to transfer knowledge”.
She continued: “It was an incredible experience and really helped to broaden my horizons. It opened my eyes to innovation and communicating with a new generation which is very smart.
“The course also gave me an opportunity to change people’s perceptions about Qatar. At the start of the course, there were 31 people attacking Qatar – they had so many questions about the World Cup.
“At the beginning I tried too hard to defend myself but the more people listened, the more they understood what Qatar is trying to achieve. By the end of the course, there were 31 people supporting Qatar and, in many cases, interested in visiting and working in the region.”
The FIFA Master includes three modules: humanities, management and law. The course also features numerous guest speakers and site visits.
Since September 2015, al-Emadi studied at De Montfort University in England, SDA Bocconi School of Management in Italy and the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland.
She added: “We learned about the entire sports industry – it wasn’t just about football. I learned about many other sports, particularly when students talked about their national sports. There was goat racing, kabaddi, rugby, cricket and others.
“We also concentrated a lot on the Olympic movement and looked at how sport started and how rules and regulations developed. We looked at the different perceptions in different countries, along with boycotts, racism, cultural and social issues. It was very interesting.”
Sports governance issues particularly caught al-Emadi’s attention during the course.
“We learned about the formation and structure of sporting organisations, along with how disputes are resolved in different countries. It was especially interesting to discover how sporting organisations are run financially and strategically, along with the process of hosting international mega events.
“It was also very interesting to learn about issues such as doping, corruption and betting. Furthermore, we were given a detailed overview of the successful models of licensing and financial fair play, which are implemented by UEFA.”
Among the guest speakers was Nasser al-Khater, SC’s assistant secretary general for Tournament Affairs. Al-Khater gave a presentation on the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar during the management module.
“Nasser al-Khater gave a great presentation and answered a lot of questions,” she added. “He was very honest and admitted there is a lot of work to do in the lead-up to 2022 and he really helped the students understand the impact the World Cup will have in Qatar and the region.”
For her final project, she worked alongside three fellow students to produce a case study entitled ‘Branding a Nation Through Sport: The Case of Qatar’.
“We looked at how Qatar is achieving its vision by investing in major teams, like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, the development of grassroots initiatives, such as Aspire, hosting major events, starting with the Asian Games in 2006, all the way through to hosting 88 tournaments in 2015.”
She went on to outline how her achievement will help the SC and her future career.
“The programme offers an amazing opportunity to transfer knowledge. I now need to pass on my experiences to benefit my country and the SC. The entire course was a story – the story of sport, how it started and how it has developed over the years in terms of competition, administration, law and politics.
“One of the best things about the FIFA Master is the network you get to be a part of. Listening to alumni talk about what they’re doing now was so inspiring. The network puts you in touch with the entire sports industry.”(SC.qa)
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