Category Archives: Non classé

A two-day online session dedicated to Chinese Sport

On 28 and 29 September 2020, the first part of the 9th (and final) session of the fifth edition of the MESGO, initially scheduled in Beijing, took place online. Our sincerest appreciation goes to Beijing Sport University: MESGO partner for the Chinese online sessions.

Co-directed by Holger Preuss, professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and Jean-Jacques Gouguet, professor at the University of Limoges, the objective of this session was to introduce participants to the Chinese sport system.

During those two days, the participants had the opportunity to interact with a large panel of experts in their field, such as:

  • Jeanne Gloanec, journalist, Le vent de la Chine
  • Shengxin Li, Vice-Dean, Management School, Beijing Sport University
  • Xiaoqian Hu, professor, Tsinghua University, Beijing
  • Wu Dong, professor, Beijing Sport University
  • Pierre Justo, director, Asia TNS Sofres
  • Louis Liu, general secretary, Chinese Football Association
  • Andrew Mercer, acting general counsel and legal director, Asian Football Confederation
  • Romuald Nguyen, director, French Football Office, China
  • Wolfgang Maennig, professor, department of Economics, Hamburg University
  • Mengmeng Zhang, chief representative China, OL Groupe
  • Larry Zheng, vice president, Shankaï Sports
  • David Dongwei Yang, chief executive officer, HS Sports & Media / Operation partner of CITIC Capital

Round-table live discussion about CFA, the future of football in China and Asia – strategy and challenges: Louis Liu, general secretary, Chinese Football Association

Discussion about Chinese global strategy “belt and road project” and sport with Wolfgang Maennig, professor at Hamburg University

Round-table live discussion about Chinese investment in sport industry: Larry Zheng, vice president at Shankaï Sports.

A warm thank you to all the speakers for their high-level contributions to the session!

Participants also got the chance to take part in some virtual, fun and interactive social events, such as a live Qi Gong lesson and an initiation to traditional Chinese calligraphy.

The second part of this final MESGO V session will be conducted during a face-to-face seminar next March in Paris. The fundamental question of the future of sport will be addressed, notably through the consequences related to the COVID-19 crisis, the new sustainability model and what the repercussions are for sport and its governance.

MESGO congratulates Robert Barczi

A newly graduated participant of the MESGO V edition have been appointed new senior position.

We are delighted to report that Robert Barczi has stepped into the role of Sports Director at the Hungarian Football Federation, after previously serving at the organisation as competition director.

He has been working as a sports manager for more than 10 years, honing his skills occupying such positions as managing director of Nyíregyháza Spartacus, as well as director and secretary-general of the regional football league of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg.

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

Congratulations Andrew!

The Asian Football Confederation has appointed Andrew Mercer – MESGO IV graduate, as Acting General Counsel and Legal Director.

Andrew Mercer - UEFA

Andrew began his career at the AFC as Deputy Legal Director almost 3 years ago, after spending many years at UEFA. He has an exceptional knowledge of sport law and significant professional experience within the football sector.

A great promotion for Andrew, who will continue to apply his outstanding legal skills to the development of Asian football.

All the MESGO community wishes him the best of success in his new position.

MESGO V participants defended their thesis online

Over two days, on 16 and 17 April 2020, 21 participants of the fifth edition of the Executive Master in Global Sport Governance (MESGO) defended their thesis online.

This year, the MESGO Viva Voce was organised under the most challenging circumstances due to the current health situation. Therefore, we would like to say a big thanks to all our partners for their contributions to the MESGO programme and also to congratulate the participants for having successfully completed the 18-month course and especially for their hard work and commitment shown through these difficult times.

Congratulations to the new graduates of MESGO V: Didier Andrist, Irena Bakrevska Miloshevska, Robert Barczi, Yashwanth Biyyala, Katarzyna Biniaszczyk, Michal Buchel, Dimitrios Davakis, Ciska Du Plessis-Austin, Nerijus Dunauskas, Stuart Dykes, Alvaro Garcia Alaman De La Calle, Gurvan Kervadec, Giel Kirkels, Pierre Locht, Anton Maliutin, Jonathan Martinez, Nuno Moura, Joanna Poulton, Jovan Šurbatović, Lisa Wiederer and Ales Zavrl.

The two days’ viva voce was completed with an online celebration!

In anticipation of the time when we can all meet to celebrate in person.

MESGO congratulates Ciska Du Plessis-Austin recently appointed as President of the Cycling South Africa

Ciska Du Plessis-Austin becomes the first female President of the Federation.

Ciska presented her proposed strategy for the next four years, which will focus on seven key business and development units.
The proposed strategy includes a focus on a clearer talent development pathway within a stronger-positioned sporting structure.
The vision of the Cycling South Africa new president is to better align all the parties involved in the sport and create a united front.

The MESGO Team wishes Ciska every success in her new position!

Session 8 in New York – North American model of sport

After seven sessions in Europe, the MESGO team was in New York from 2 to 6 December 2019 to learn more about the North American model of sport.

Organised by Francesc Solanellas, professor in sports management at the National Institute of Physical Education (INEFC) and Didier Primault, general manager at the Center for Law and Economics of Sport (CDES), this eighth session was aimed at presenting the organisation of sport in North America from a legal, economic, sociologic and media perspective.

Over the five-day session, the MESGO group was hosted at key locations such as the Major League Soccer (MLS), St John’s University, the National Football League (NFL), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and R/GA (International innovation consultancy).

The MESGO team at the MLS
The MESGO group at St John’s University
The MESGO team at the NFL Headquarters
The MESGO team at the NBA
The MESGO participants enjoyed a dinner cruise around Manhattan
Participants also had the opportunity to attend a basketball game at the prestigious Madison Square Garden.

The next and final MESGO session will take place in Beijing (China) from 9 to 13 March 2019 and will be dedicated to the future of sport.

MESGO mourns the passing of Dr Dirk-Reiner Martens

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr Dirk-Reiner Martens on November 11, 2020.

Dr Martens was one of the most influential and renowned lawyers in the sports movement: and one of the pioneers in sports law in Germany and Worldwide.

Due to his extraordinary expertise in commercial and sports arbitration, at national and international level, he has acted in more than 250 arbitration proceedings relating to commercial law and to sports law either as an arbitrator, President of the tribunal or party representative. In addition to the CAS, Dr Martens was also listed as an arbitrator at the AAA, JAMS, CRCIA (Cairo, Egypt), FIA (Formula 1) and ICDR.

A strong advocate of alternative sports dispute resolution mechanisms, Dr Martens was one of the original creators of the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT), which today is the second largest sports arbitral tribunal in the world.

Dr Martens also worked with numerous Olympic and non-Olympic Sports Federations, advising on and implementing new systems of governance.

For MESGO, it has been an honour and a privilege to have Dr Martens among our high-profile speakers for each of our legal seminars. His presentations and sharing his experience as CAS arbitrator in particular, were always highly appreciated by the MESGO participants.

Both as a leading sports lawyer and CAS arbitrator, but also as a constantly enthusiastic, passionate and caring person, Dr Martens will be deeply missed. All the MESGO team convey their sincere condolences to Mrs Martens, to Mr and Mrs Martens’ families and friends, and to Mr Martens’ colleagues at Martens Rechtsanwälte. Our thoughts are with them during this very difficult time.

MESGO congratulates Rea Walshe, Joanna Poulton and Ciska Du Plessis Austin

Three participants of the MESGO V edition were appointed to new senior positions.

Rea Walshe has stepped into the role of interim chief executive at the Football Association of Ireland. Rea Walshe was previously corporate affairs and licensing director at the organisation. Last month she became chief operating officer and took on overall responsibility for FAI governance. Rea Walshe previously worked at Dublin’s Greene Solicitors and at Liberty Insurance. She joined the Football Association of Ireland in May 2014 as head of legal and licensing.


The British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA) has announced the appointment of Joanna Poulton as its new Chair. Joanna has joined the Board of the national governing body for the British winter sports of skeleton and bobsleigh with immediate effect, with confirmation of her position as Chair expected at the upcoming Board meeting in April. Her most recent positions were as non-Executive Director with GB Snowsport (the governing body of British Skiing and Snowboarding) and the Royal Yachting Association (the governing body for British Sailing).


Ciska Austin Du Plessis was recently appointed as Vice President of Cycling South Africa. In her role as Vice President and executive board member, Ciska had been tasked to update and maintain the federation’s sporting and governance policies and to play a supportive role to the President, Executive Committee and the various Commissions. She will work closely with staff and all the board members to ensure enhanced performance in all areas by providing training and guidance.