Category Archives: MESGO III

Congratulations Jan Peter!

The international governing body of football (FIFA) has appointed Jan Peter Dogge — MESGO III graduate — as FIFA’s Team Lead Integrity.

Jan Peter Dogge begins his FIFA career as the New Lead of the Integrity Team after spending 13 years at the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), where he successively held the role of Licencing Manager and Integrity Manager.

He has an exceptional knowledge in the field of Integrity and significant professional experience within the football sector.

A great promotion for Jan Peter, who will continue to apply his outstanding knowledge of match-fixing and other sporting corruption abuses to uphold the integrity of football competitions.

On behalf of all the MESGO community we would like to wish him the best of success in his new role.

Congratulations Noel!

Noel Mooney, MESGO III graduate, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Football Association of Wales.

At the end of August, Noel Mooney will join the Football Association of Wales from UEFA, where he has been Head of Strategic Development since 2011. 

Following his career as a goalkeeper in the League of Ireland (Limerick, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers), in 2006 he joined the Football Association of Ireland and continued to make a contribution to Irish football by looking after the development of domestic football when managing the marketing department. Later on, he also had the opportunity to lead the FIA, ad interim, for six months in 2019.

Over the past decade at UEFA he has created a number of leading development programmes to grow the European game. He can now use his vast experience and wide skillset in the development of Welsh football.

On behalf of all the MESGO community we would like to wish him the best of success in his new role.

Executive Committee Elections at European Handball Federation

Michael Wiederer has been elected as new President and Anrijs Brencans, MESGO III graduate, as new member of the executive committee.

Congratulations to Michael Wiederer, former EHF Secretary General, who has been appointed as the new EHF President.

Congratulations as well to Anrijs Brencans, MESGO III graduate, who has been elected as new member of the Executive Committee at EHF. This new position will complement his current role as member of advisory board at the Latvian Handball Federation at, for which he used to be the General Secretary.

This election is the opportunity for the MESGO team to thank warmly Jean Brihault, former EHF President, who has always supported MESGO programme and its values. The MESGO team is looking forward to cooperating further on with the new President.

Executive Committee 2016 European Handball Federation

Source: EHF Website,

Congratulations Elkhan!

Congratulations to Elkhan Mammadov – MESGO III graduate – who has been nominated as Sport Leader under 40 by during the Sport Business Summit held in London (October 5-6).

He competed  with individuals who “have unrivaled leadership skills. They have led from the top and driven major change in their organisation” (Twitter, LEADERS Business)


Elkhan Mammadov
General Secretary, Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan
MESGO III Graduate

Successful MESGO III participants graduated at UEFA headquarters

On 31 March and 1 April, 20 participants in the third edition of the MESGO programme defended their professional theses at UEFA headquarters.

Here are a few examples of the theses presented:

  • Improving relations with stakeholders for a better governance of the football Association of Moldova
  • A game changer? The economic and cultural transformation of Israeli football in the beginning of the third millennium
  • Addressing the digital risk assessment: Proposals for small & medium sized International Federations
  • Playing and spending in European Football: Examining the correlation between participation and consumption in European Football
  • Broadcasting & sports media rights: the web as a no man’s land: World Cub Brazil 2014 experience
  • Football clubs’ ownership and financial instability in CIS countries: The case of Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan
  • Transfer of Knowledge from a Large Federation to a Small Federation: Referee and Disciplinary Functions in the Cyprus Football Association
  • The role and value of independent non-executive directors on the board of a National Governing Body
  • The Role of State Funding in Sports Development
  • Selecting the host for UEFA EURO 2024 and beyond: To what extent must UEFA adapt its criteria and processes for selecting the host of the EURO in order to keep its integrity?
  • Row ToGo, The construction of an Integrated Sports Complex
  • What are the appropriate roles and responsibilities of a national football association on the one hand and of a professional league on the other?
  • Challenges and benefits of integrating Para-sports into able-bodied sport federations

Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-1Sean Hamil, director of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre at the University of London.

The graduation ceremony was chaired by Sean Hamil, director of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre at the University of London. It began with speeches by representatives of a number of the programme’s academic and sporting partners: Giorgio Marchetti (UEFA’s competitions director), Nicolas Péjout (director of executive education at Sciences Po), Jean Brihault (president of the EHF), Didier Primault (general director of the CDES) and Elkhan Mammadov, general secretary of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (and a MESGO III graduate).

Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-2Speech by Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA’s competitions director.

 Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-3Nicolas Péjout, director of executive education at Sciences Po).

Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-4Jean Brihault, president of the European Handball Federation (EHF).

Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-5Didier Primault, general director of the Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport (CDES, Limoges – France).

Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-6Elkhan Mammadov, general secretary of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (and a MESGO III graduate), with his thesis mentor, Wladimir Andreff.

Those speeches were followed by a slide show and a video montage (produced by Future Learning) looking back at the programme. Then, young explorer Teodor Johansen gave a keynote speech about achievements in life. Aged just 24, he has successfully crossed Antarctica and climbed a series of 5,000m and 6,000m peaks around the world. He has also been on three 8,000m expeditions, becoming the youngest person from Scandinavia to climb Mt Manaslu (8,163m). He almost lost his life on Mt Everest when an earthquake struck in 2015.

Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-7Testimony from young explorer Teodor Johansen.

There were also musical interludes by the band Less Than Four (Francis Stoessel, Timothy Verdesca and David Tixier).

Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-8The band Less Than Four (Francis Stoessel, Timothy Verdesca and David Tixier).

The MESGO programme’s academic and sporting partners are proud of their 20 new graduates and look forward to watching them contribute to the improvement of sports governance, both in Europe and beyond.

Congratulations to Anrijs Brencāns (Latvia), Jan Peter Dogge (Netherlands), Jonathan Hall (UK), Timo Huttunen (Finland), Adrian Ixari (Moldova), Kenny Jean-Marie (France), Rotem Kamer (Israel), André Kruse (Germany), Elkhan Mammadov (Azerbaijan), Noel Mooney (Ireland), Julien Mordacq (France), Barbara Moschini (Italy), Patrick Nelson (Northern Ireland), Balázs Nemcsik (Hungary), Camila Rodrigues Barbosa (Brazil), Andreas Savvides (Cyprus), Maciej Sawicki (Poland), Florian Simmen (Switzerland), Mario Woldt (Germany) and Mhamed Zeghari (Morocco).

Graduation-Ceremony-MESGO-3-9The 20 MESGO III graduates at UEFA.

The fourth edition will start in September 2016 and will involve sessions in two new locations: Amsterdam and Tokyo.

For more information on applying, take a look at the MESGO website:

Final MESGO session in Brazil to discuss the future of sport governance

The ninth and final MESGO session of the current edition started on Sunday 28 February with a welcome event near Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro. The Escola Capoeira Cidadã association, headed by Mestre Curumim, organised a workshop with capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, and samba before a cocktail party with traditional Brazilian food and drink.

On the Monday, the MESGO group was hosted by the Fundação Getúlio Vargas university, where two professors gave a presentation to introduce the context of sport in Brazil with an economic approach. In the afternoon, the group met Rio city hall’s head of international relations, ambassador Laudemar Aguiar.

Session9_Rio_1At the Fundação Getúlio Vargas with ambassador Laudemar Aguiar, head of international relations at Rio’s city hall

The next day, the MESGO team moved to Barra de Tijuca to spend the morning at the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV). Its chief executive himself, Ricardo Trade, gave a presentation on the development of the CBV, before talking about his previous experience as the chief executive of the 2014 FIFA World Cup local organising committee in Brazil.

Session9_Rio_2Ricardo Trade, chief executive of the CBV

That day’s lunch break was at the Grand Mercure Riocentro hotel owned by GL Events, whose staff gave a presentation on their concept for temporary and sustainable facilities for major sports events. Andrew Parsons, president of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and vice-president of the International Paralympic Committee, then provided his view about Paralympic sport in Brazil ahead of the Paralympic Games. The afternoon ended with a visit to the future Olympic and Paralympic venues organised by Delphine Moulin, General Manager of the test events for the Rio 2016 Organising Committee. These test events aim to test all operations involving competitions before the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Session9_Rio_3During the training session before the synchronised swimming test events

Session9_Rio_4 Visit to Cariocas Arenas in the Olympic Park

On the Wednesday, the MESGO participants were hosted by TV Globo, the biggest TV channel in Latin America, which is especially well known for its telenovelas (soap operas). João Pedro Paes Leme’s team gave various presentations about the company, with a focus on their sports broadcasting programmes.

Session9_Rio_5João Pedro Paes Leme, executive director of Central Globo de Esportes at TV Globo, presenting the day’s programme

Former international judoka Flávio Canto, now a judo commentator at TV Globo, then gave a presentation on the Instituto Reação social project, which aims to develop judo in the favelas. To finish the Wednesday session, a representative of Esporte Clube Pinheiros in São Paulo explained the specificities of multisport clubs in Brazil, which mix grassroots and high-level athletes. In the evening the MESGO team gathered at Zazá Bistrô for a friendly dinner as the social event of the week.

Session9_Rio_6 Social event at Zazá Bistrô

At the headquarters of the Clube de Regatas do Flamengo football club on the Thursday morning the MESGO participants were given an overview of the number one national sport by a speaker from the Brazilian Football Confederation, a sports lawyer and Bernardo Accioly, legal director of the club.

Session9_Rio_7 Round-table discussion at Flamengo’s HQ about Brazilian football clubs

The group then went to Club France (or “Casa Bleue”) at the Brazilian equestrian centre (Sociedade Hípica Brasileira), future meeting point for the French Olympic movement during the Games in Rio. Alexandre Bazire, attaché for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the French ministry of foreign affairs and international development, gave a presentation on the “casa” concept: a place of reception and gathering in a friendly and festive, with the French Olympic team, to experience together the magic of the Olympic Games. A round-table discussion was then organised with Bruno Souza, secretary of sports and leisure for the city of Niterói and former international handball player, and Marcelo Hargreaves da Costa, former international volleyball player, who both played in Europe.

Session9_Rio_8 Round-table discussion at Club France with Bruno Souza and Marcelo Hargreaves da Costa, providing an exchange of viewpoints between Brazil and Europe

After that there was a visit to the Olympic and Paralympic rowing venue at the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon.

Session9_Rio_9 Visit to the Rio 2016 rowing venue with Colleen Orsmond and João Vitor França, respectively rowing manager and venue general manager for Rio 2016

Session 9 finished after the group spent the Friday morning at Fluminense FC.

Session9_Rio_10 The MESGO group at Fluminense FC

Following a presentation about the Fluminense youth academy, the chief executive of Lagardère Unlimited Brazil (Lagardère Group), Aymeric Magne, provided a case study about the difficulties of implementing a project abroad. Finally, former international football player Raí Oliveira and his colleagues gave a presentation on the children’s association Gol de Letra and the project Atletas pelo Brasil which promotes sport.

Session9_Rio_12Presentation on Gol de Letra and Atletas pelo Brasil by Raí Oliveira, Beatriz Pantaleão and Daniela Castro

The final session of the next MESGO edition will take place in Tokyo in March 2018.

The MESGO participants will meet again at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon on 31 March and 1 April as part of the viva voce exam session, during which they will each defend their professional thesis. The graduation ceremony on Friday 1 April will bring to a close the third edition of the programme.

The application process for the next MESGO edition is open until 12:00 CET on Monday 28 March.

For more information please visit

Session 8 in New York – North American model of sport

After seven sessions in Europe, the MESGO team was in New York from 30 November to 4 December 2015 to learn more about the North American model of sport.

Hosted by Major League Soccer (MLS) on the Monday, the participants had the opportunity to meet Stefan Szymanski, professor at the University of Michigan, and Steve Ross, professor at the Pennsylvania State University, who presented the economic and legal development of the North American sport leagues. They were followed by Sunil Gulati, president of United States Soccer Federation, and different speakers from MLS and the New York Red Bulls soccer club, who presented their respective organisations.

Session8_NY_1Round-table discussion at the MLS headquarters with Sunil Gulati, president of US Soccer

On the Tuesday, the group visited the NBA, where several presentations on this major North American league were given, focusing predominantly on competitive balance, social responsibility, the international approach and the marketing strategy of the NBA. Among the speakers were Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and former NBA player, and John Paul Basile, Associate Vice President for Business Development and Operations. A presentation on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was also on the agenda.

Session8_NY_2The MESGO team at the NBA

The MESGO participants were welcomed at the National Hockey League (NHL) on the Wednesday. Following presentations by Andrew Zimbalist, professor of economics at Smith College (Northampton, USA) and Joel Maxcy, president of the International Association of Sports Economists (IASE), the participants discussed the governance of the league with the NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, and the deputy commissioner, Bill Daly.

Session8_NY_3The MESGO group at the NHL headquarters

At St. John’s University campus on the Thursday, the MESGO team visited the sports facilities of an American university during the training session of its basketball team. After a presentation about the organisation of the New York marathon by the New York Road Runners Association, the famous commentator of the American TV channel ESPN, Andrew Brandt, explained his career at the National Football League (NFL). The day ended with a discussion between the MESGO participants and the alumni of St. John’s University to share experiences and opinions by comparing the academic sport system in Europe and in the US, before a cocktail dinner.

Session8_NY_4Presentation of the campus by Glenn Gerstner, associate professor at St. John’s University and chair of the sport management division

Session8_NY_5Panel discussion comparing the academic sport system in Europe and in the US: presentation of the European model by Mario Woldt and Jonathan Hall (MESGO participants)

Co-led by Didier Primault, General manager of the Centre de Droit et d’Économie du sport (CDES) in Limoges, France, and Francesc Solanellas, consultant at the Institut Nacional d’Educació Física de Catalunya (INEFC) in Spain, the eighth session came to a close on the Friday at Madison Square Garden. The morning was dedicated mainly to the organisation of baseball in North America, in the presence of representatives of the league (MLB), the players’ association (MLBPA) and a consultant working with players and their agents. The MESGO team then went behind the scenes at this mythical venue, which is famous not only for its frequently sold-out concerts but also for the matches of the New York Knicks basketball team and the New York Rangers ice hockey team.

Session8_NY_6Round-table discussion about the stakeholders in baseball: Paloma Ahmadi (MLB), Matthew Nussbaum (MLBPA) and Jeff Fannell (consultant for players and sports agents)

Session8_NY_7Visit to Madison Square Garden

The next and final session of the current MESGO will take place in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) from 29 February to 4 March 2016 and will focus on the future of sport governance.

A MESGO week dedicated to ethics in sport

From 4 to 8 October 2015 the MESGO III participants were in Germany for Session 7 of the programme. Jointly directed by Dr Holger Preuss, professor of sport economics and sport sociology at Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) in Mainz, and Volker Bernardi, executive director of the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) and sports law lecturer at the same university, the session covered several topics related to ethics in sport, such as corruption, sport for disabled athletes, anti-doping and environmental sustainability.

A MESGO week dedicated to ethics in sport_1
Get-together at a wine bar

After a get-together at a wine bar on the Sunday evening, the session began at JGU on the Monday morning, where Dr Mike McNamee, professor at Swansea University, introduced the basics of ethical behaviour.

A MESGO week dedicated to ethics in sport_2
Introduction about ethics and sports by Dr Mike McNamee

In the afternoon Claudia Bokel presented the athlete’s perspective before participating in a round-table discussion with other speakers, including Dr Michael Ilgner, CEO of Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe (the German sports aid foundation), who provided the supporting organisation’s point of view.

A MESGO week dedicated to ethics in sport_3
Round-table discussion about ethical questions concerning the modern athlete

On Tuesday the MESGO group was at SWR, a regional public broadcasting corporation serving the south-west of Germany. In the morning representatives of Europol and Transparency International gave talks about corruption, while the afternoon was dedicated to sport for disabled athletes, with presentations from Matthias Berg, Paralympic medallist and lawyer, and Mike Townley, general legal counsel at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

A MESGO week dedicated to ethics in sport_4
Case study about corruption in sport

The day ended with the entire team having dinner together as part of the week’s social events.

A MESGO week dedicated to ethics in sport_5
Social event at Bastion von Schönborn

Wednesday’s session was held at the Coface Arena, where several speakers, including Herman Ram, CEO of the Netherlands’ national anti-doping organisation, discussed doping issues in sports law.

A MESGO week dedicated to ethics in sport_6
At the Coface Arena

On the last day the participants went to visit the German Football Association (DFB). Heike Ullrich, head of women’s and girls’ football at the DFB, started by presenting ethical issues connected with the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, since she was the deputy director and head of tournament organisation for this event.

A MESGO week dedicated to ethics in sport_7
The MESGO group at the DFB headquarters

The floor was later given to Mike Lee, director of public affairs for the London 2012 Olympic bid, senior advisor for the Rio 2016 Olympic bid and campaign advisor for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, for a presentation about bidding for major sports events. In the afternoon, Christian Wassmer, head of recognised stakeholders’ relations at the International Olympic Committee’s sports department, explained the impact of the Olympic Agenda 2020 on international federations.

The next MESGO session, which will focus on the North American model of sport, will take place in New York City from 30 November to 4 December 2015.

The MESGO team in Barcelona for Session 6

MESGO III participants recently visited Barcelona for Session 6 of the programme. Francesc Solanellas and Andreu Camps i Povill, both professors at INEFC (the MESGO programme’s Spanish academic partner), organised the week-long session, which took place from 15 to 19 June and was dedicated to the subject of sports events. Guest speakers talked about national and international sports events such as the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the Euroleague Basketball Final Four, the Barcelona Open tennis tournament and the forthcoming Mediterranean Games (which are due to be held in Tarragona in 2017).

The session began at INEFC on Monday 15 June, where Javier Villamayor Caamaño, chief executive of Tarragona 2017 and second deputy mayor in Tarragona’s city council, provided an answer to the case study on Tarragona 2017.

Presentation of the case study on Tarragona 2017

On Tuesday 16 June, the group visited the headquarters of Euroleague Basketball, where they were welcomed by Jordi Bertomeu, the organisation’s president and chief executive, and Roser Queraltó, its chief business development officer. The group then attended a presentation by Oriol Ràfols and Josep Vergés, both former managers at FC Barcelona, before visiting Camp Nou, the club’s revered home.

At the headquarters of Euroleague Basketball
At the headquarters of Euroleague Basketball

At Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona
Visit to Camp Nou, home of FC Barcelona

Wednesday’s session was held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where its president, Vicenç Aguilera, talked about the events held at that famous venue. The day ended with the entire team competing in a karting race as part of the week’s social event.

The top three drivers on the podium
The top three drivers in the karting race celebrate on the podium

The following day, the MESGO group went to visit RCD Espanyol’s new stadium. They were given a guided tour by architect Mark Fenwick, who designed the stadium.

Guided tour of Power 8 stadium
Guided tour of Power 8 stadium by its architect Mark Fenwick

Back at INEFC on the Friday, the participants gave oral presentations on their thesis subjects to their mentors, members of the Management Committee and a number of alumni.

The next MESGO session, which will focus on the subject of ethics, will take place in Mainz and Frankfurt am Main (Germany) from 5 to 8 October 2015.

The MESGO III participants were back in London for Session 5

From 20 to 24 April, the MESGO III participants were back in London for a week dedicated to strategic marketing. Organised by Peter Willems, head of marketing activities and sponsorship at UEFA, this session included several presentations by marketing specialists in various sectors, often outside sport (Coca-Cola, YouTube, IMG).

The week started with a methodological workshop on academic research, led by Sean Hamil (director of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, one of the academic partners of the MESGO programme), in order to help the participants prepare their theses. Then, the MESGO team was welcomed in the headquarters of WPP Brand Union by its chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, for an introduction to the session proper.

Tuesday kicked off with a tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground followed by a sponsorship round table with Campbell Jamieson, general manager – commercial at the International Cricket Council.

Guided tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground
Guided tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground

At Sky Studios on Wednesday, Aditya Aditya, senior broadcast rights manager at the International Olympic Committee (IOC), presented the future Olympic channel. In the afternoon, Frank Dunne, editor at TV Sports Market (part of SportBusiness Group), moderated two round tables in the presence of Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director at UEFA. The participants were able to consolidate what they would learn in the evening with a visit to the Sky TV studios before watching the UEFA Champions League semi-final between the two teams of Madrid.

Visiting Sky Studios
Visiting Sky Studios
From left to right (top): Peter Willems (UEFA), Adrian Ixari (Football Association of Moldova), Timo Huttunen (Football Association of Finland), Tiago Craveiro (Portuguese Football Association), Julien Mordacq (LOSC Lille) and Andreas Savvides (PKF Savvides & Co Ltd.).
From left to right (bottom): Julie Trosic (MESGO manager at the Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport), Barbara Moschini (Italian Football Association) and Rotem Kamer (Israel Football Association).

At Twickenham on the Thursday, the participants met Mark Killingley, head of digital and CRM for the Rugby Football Union (RFU), before one group presented their case study on the London 2017 World Athletics Championships, in the presence of Fiona Green, director and co-founder of Winners.

Presentation about the RFU’s digital strategy by Mark Killingley at Twickenham
Presentation about the RFU’s digital strategy by Mark Killingley at Twickenham

The MESGO III participants at Twickenham
The MESGO III participants at Twickenham

To close the session on the Friday, the MESGO group attended a presentation about sports marketing by Geoff Newton, executive director of the Tennis Foundation, before visiting Wimbledon, London’s world-famous tennis venue.

The MESGO group in the Press room at Wimbledon
The MESGO group in the Press room at Wimbledon.
From left to right (standing): Manuel Ruess (UEFA), Mhamed Zeghari (Mohammed VI Football Academy), Peter Willems (UEFA), Adrian Ixari (Football Association of Moldova), Balázs Nemcsik (Hungarian Water Polo Federation), Virgar Hvidbro (Faroe Islands Football Association), André Kruse (European Flying Disc Federation), Piara Powar (Fare Network), Mario Woldt (German Rowing Federation), Florian Simmen (UEFA), Jan Peter Dogge (Royal Netherlands Football Association) and Thomas Junod (UEFA).
From left to right (sitting): Noel Mooney (UEFA), Barbara Moschini (Italian Football Association), Julie Trosic (Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport), and Camila Rodrigues Barbosa (International Paralympic Committee).

The next MESGO session will take place in Barcelona from 15 to 19 June, culminating with an alumni event on the last day, bringing together participants past and present from the three MESGO editions.