When Sepp Blatter, former FIFA president visited India many years ago, he called India as a ‘sleeping giant’ of football. He had recommended wide-scale reforms and greater professionalism to make Indian football attractive and popular for the 1.3 billion population. More than a decade later, reforms at all levels of national, state, and grassroots have been noticeable. However, the rise in professionalism within Indian football has not been near as quick as it should have been. The global football industry is highly professional and competitive, and Indian football is also on the upward curve. There is no doubt that former international players and experienced coaches can bring valuable knowledge into the system but for football administration, completely different set of skills are required. Well-rounded professionals with comprehensive skills in management, behavioural, and soft skills are essential cogs across all football governing bodies, clubs, academies, and agencies. This is where the requirement for professional football executives is a glaring absentee in the Indian football industry. The root cause of this problem is the absence of football specific vocational and educational courses in India.
In recent years, Football has become the second most popular sport in India with the emergence of professional leagues like the Indian Super League. It is certain that the requirement of skilled professionals will be essential for managing the administration and operations of these leagues. This void will only become bigger if this need is not addressed immediately to increase the Football executives who can exercise their knowledge and skills in football clubs, academies, governing bodies, and private organisations to strengthen the Indian Football ecosystem.
To fill this gap, it is crucial to provide high-level knowledge and practical skills to potential football executives through specialized football education & training courses. Additionally, practical exposure to work in football clubs and organisations during their educational journey will be a huge value addition for them to network and establish strong industry connections. Currently in India, there are hardly any specialized football executive or football management courses on offer. This means that as a country we are not producing enough skilled football professionals who can fill the needed professional quotient across Indian football.
Sportz Next Education Institute in association with Universidade Europeia (UE), Portugal has developed a Post-Graduate Football Executive program which blends in European footballing excellence and knowledge about the Indian football ecosystem. Universidade Europeia (UE) has a long and distinguished reputation of conducting world-class football education courses, with elite clubs like Real Madrid, who are running courses in collaboration with UE. This international course provides the best of both worlds through a structured curriculum that is based on scientific & evidence-based international best practices to deliver continuous academic quality & innovative pedagogy focused on the specific needs of the Indian football industry. Students will get the chance to learn & master areas related to Marketing & Organisational Management, Logistics & Operations, Sports Law, Talent & Performance management, Communication & Brand Activation, Technology & Football analytics from a faculty of European & Indian domain experts.
Apart from offering good quality conceptual knowledge, Sportz Next Education Institute believes in arming the next generation of football leaders with valuable practical experience through industry integration, projection, and professional networking. The institute provides full placement support by offering placement opportunities in the best of private as well as public sports organisations. With a plethora of associates and brand partners along with a strong sports job market presence, Sportz Next ensures that India’s newest batch of leading football executives are well-settled into the industry so that they can be the game-changers in football administration. The Postgraduate Football Executive program provides holistic knowledge about all the key football domains through a module-based curriculum as per international standards delivered by renowned national and international experts. Considering the prevailing scenario of Indian Football, the program has been designed to address the need of the hour to ensure holistic engagement and awakening the sleeping giant. A sense of optimism can be instilled within every football fan in India if this key issue is resolved. This is a definite step in the right direction which can have multiple repercussions on the operational efficiency of clubs, academies, governing bodies and organisations moving forward.