Category Archives: MESGO Alumni

MESGO Alumni gets together in Bucharest in the context of the UEFA Academy Summit

The MESGO Alumni Association got together in Bucharest on 22 September 2023, for their Annual General Assembly meeting.

A crucial part of the General Assembly is the committee election of board members, and the MESGO team is pleased to congratulate Kevin Ashby (MESGO IV graduate) on his re-election as President of the Alumni Association.

Kevin Ashby, President of the MESGO Alumni Association

The board is made up of the following members (from left to right):

  • Heidi Beha, Team Lead Development Programmes Europe, FIFA – MESGO IV
  • Kevin Ashby (President), Senior Digital Content Manager, UEFA – MESGO IV
  • Elisa Turrioni (Treasurer), Administrative and Organisational Manager, Bonzini – MESGO IV 
  • Robert Pongracz, Senior Director, Global account management, Football Events, IMG – MESGO II
  • Alex Gerontikos, VP Sales Europe, Sportradar – MESGO IV
  • Ciska du Plessis-Austin, Strategic Advisor and Acting VP Finances, Cycling South Africa – MESGO V (not in photo)

After the election of the committee board members, the objectives of the association were discussed. The key-note speaker, Răzvan Burleanu, President of the Romanian Football Federation and a MESGO IV graduate, then presented the plans of the Romanian Football Federation and spoke about the progress and the transformational path that has been taken to achieve success.

Răzvan Burleanu, President of the Romanian Football Federation

The Alumni association was created in 2015 to produce a formal network of top professionals in sports governance and ensure that knowledge sharing will continue between former MESGO participants.

A huge thank you to all the MESGO alumni who attended the meeting and looking forward to meeting you all again soon.

MESGO mourns the passing of Gurvan KERVADEC, Director General of the French Volleyball League.

It was with great sadness and emotion that we learned of the tragic death of Gurvan, MESGO V participant, at the age of 51.

His passion and dedication to sport in general, and basketball in particular, was reflected in his commitment both on and off the court.

A basketball player since the age of 9, Gurvan was also a youth basketball referee and U15 team coach for many years.

Off the court, he put his experience in sports management at the service of leading sports organisations.

He worked for the French Rugby Federation for 13 years, where his multiple, diverse skills (finance, human resources, management) enabled him to reach executive level as head of the sports department. Always ready for new challenges, he then took up the position of Administrative and Financial Director at Stade Français Paris, one of the major rugby clubs in the Top 14.

His desire to learn and share his knowledge and experience with others naturally led him to apply to MESGO, which he joined in September 2018, where, among his many contributions, he wrote a thesis on the social impact of sport, with a particular focus on the inclusion of people with physical disabilities.

After MESGO, Gurvan joined the French Volleyball League, where he held the position of General Manager since June 2020.

For the MESGO family, Gurvan will be remembered as a caring and passionate person with a strong sense of ethics.

The entire MESGO team extends its sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.  Our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.

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 Alexandros !

Alexandros Gerontikos, MESGO IV graduate, is starting a new position as Head of sales Europe & CIS at SPORTRADAR, the leading global sports technology company.

Member of SPORTRADAR for over 10 years, having held the positions of Sales Director Southern Europe and, for the past three years, Regional Sales Director Western Europe, Alexandros has made and continues to make a significant contribution to the development of an industry that puts the protection of sport integrity first.

His new position as Head of Sales responsible for Europe and CIS since 1 January 2023 comes as no surprise to those who know Alexandros, someone with a very strong work ethics, an extensive managerial experience and knowledge in the sports industry, mainly through betting operators around the world, and a passion for his work.

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

Alumnus Focus: Dennis Gudasic

Discover the incredible story of one of our MESGO IV Alumni: Dennis Gudasic.


“Gudasic is now the Executive Director of one of Europe’s fastest growing football clubs, NK Lokomotiva Zagreb. Nevertheless, living in Croatia has not always been easy. Indeed, in 1996, Dennis Gudasic lived in a nation that had seen almost $40 billion worth of infrastructure destroyed and up to 25% of the economy ruined. It was a shocked country that, in some ways, still has not fully recovered.

The decision to remain would be a pivotal moment in Gudasic’s live, one that would eventually help birth not only an independent Croatia, but a prototype football club that now stands as a beacon to all fledgling sporting teams across Europe”.

Read the full article here:


MESGO IV participants graduated at UEFA HQ

Over two days, on 5 and 6 April 2018, 16 participants of the fourth edition of the Executive Master in Sport Governance (MESGO) defended their thesis and received their certificates at the graduation ceremony in Nyon, at the UEFA headquarters.

The graduation ceremony was chaired by Sean Hamil, director of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre at the University of London. Also speaking at the ceremony were Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA’s Deputy General Secretary and Jean-Christophe Breillat, president of the CDES. They wished to thank, amongst others, all partners for their contribution to the MESGO programme and congratulate the participants for having successfully completed the 18-month course.

Sean Hamil, Director Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, University of London

Giorgio Marchetti, Deputy General Secretary, UEFA

Jean-Christophe Breillat, president of the Centre of Law and Economics of Sport, University of Limoges

Keynote speaker at the ceremony was the world’s youngest athlete to compete in the Olympic Games in luge, Shiva Keshavan, who is the first Indian to have won an international medal in a winter sport. Shiva Keshavan gave a motivational speech to the graduates, speaking of the need for perseverance, commitment and passion – elements which helped contribute to his successes.

Congratulations to the new graduates of MESGO IV: Loïc Alves, Kevin Ashby, Heidi Beha, Alexander Bielefeld, Razvan Burleanu, Alexandros Gerontikos, Dennis Gudasić, Jakob Høyer, Virgar Hvidbro, Igor Janković, Pavel Kolev, Kepa Larumbe, Jean Michel Ramaroson, Eduardo Tega, Elisa Turrioni and Magdalena Urbańska.

The fifth edition will start in September 2018 and will involve sessions in three new locations: Strasbourg, Rome and Beijing.

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

3 questions to Kenny Jean-Marie – MESGO III graduate

What’s new in your life since the end of MESGO III?
Just after my graduation I decided to leave the civil service and to create my own strategy consultancy in the sector of sports.
Leaving French administration was not so easy, after 18 years of service. However, once I had finished my last mission as coordinator of the security staff of the ministry of Interior during “Le Tour de France”, I was given the autorization to build KJM CONSEIL: my new sport lifestyle.

What did MESGO bring you?
MESGO has been a defining moment of my professional life.
Session after session I became more accurate, more precise and efficient in my work as political advisor.  But the main thing I will remember is the high level of the course’s speakers and participants. A tremendous “adventure of a lifetime”.

Any advice to give to MESGO IV participants?
Live this unique experience with a full involvement.
Not as students but really as a collective journey…you will see, the trip is really amazing with this spirit.

JM_KennyKenny Jean-Marie
Founder and President of KJM Conseil
Former Advisor to the French Prime Minister on youth, sport and associations
MESGO III Graduate

MESGO II graduate Edvinas Eimontas is the newly elected President of the Lithuanian Football Federation

Congratulations to Edvinas Eimontas – MESGO II graduate, who has been elected as new president of the Lithuanian Football Federation.

Edvinas Eimontas has been elected president of the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) on a four-year term. Leaving his role as the association’s general secretary, Eimontas succeeds Julius Kvedaras, president since 2012, who decided against seeking a new period of office.

“I am flattered by the belief shown in me by the football community.” said Eimontas.
“I hope that in the coming years we will be able to raise the level of our football to a higher standard, one we all strive for according to the objectives in our football strategy.”

Edvinas Eimontas elected as new president of the Lithuanian Football Federation© Valdas Knyzelis
New Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) president Edvinas Eimontas is beginning his first mandate after being elected for a four-year term.

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

Original article from UEFA website:

The MESGO Alumni Association officially founded in Barcelona!

Knowledge-sharing will continue between former MESGO participants thanks to the MESGO Alumni Association, which was officially founded and held its first general assembly in Barcelona on 19 June.

Before the formal general meeting, MESGO I and II graduates joined current MESGO III participants for a discussion with Damien Comolli, who hold senior positions such as former sports director for AS Monaco, AS Saint-Etienne, Arsenal FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC. In a relaxed atmosphere, Damien Comolli talked about his vast experience in leadership and the management and culture of football organisations. The discussion was led by David Frommer, MESGO II graduate and president of the MESGO Alumni Association.

Alumni event at INEFC with Damien Comolli

This event reflects the MESGO organisers’ support of interaction and exchanges that foster learning and enrich football governance. The discussion was followed by the inaugural general assembly of the MESGO Alumni Association, whose objectives were discussed and voted on. The association was created to produce a formal network of top professionals in sports governance. The board is made up of the following members:
– President: David Frommer, Head of International & Public Affairs at the European Club Association (ECA)
– Treasurer: David Rouger, Marketing, TV and Events Manager (and independent consultant) at European Aquatics (LEN) and Venue Operations and Broadcast Manager for UEFA
– Secretary: Pedro Velazquez, Director of Social Innovation & Empowerment at the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS)

Alumni event at INEFC
Alumni event at INEFC

The MESGO Alumni Association’s inaugural general meeting was followed by a bus tour of Barcelona and dinner by the beach.

Watch a video of the MESGO session in Barcelona and the MESGO alumni event also held in the Catalan capital in June 2015.