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Graduation time for 2023 cohort of Master for International Players students

The Master for International Players programme supports ex-international footballers enter the business and governance of football after their playing careers end.

A group of people standing in front of a wall with UEFA branding. They all look to the camera and smile.

11 October 2023 saw the co-directors of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, Sean Hamil, Dr Richard Tacon and Professor Geoff Walters, visit the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) headquarters in Nyon to celebrate the graduation of 26 former international footballers from the UEFA Executive Master for International Players (MIP) programme. 

The UEFA MIP is a joint programme between UEFA, Birkbeck and le Centre de Droit et d’Economie du Sport (CDES) at the University of Limoges and in partnership with the European Club Association (ECA) and the International Federation of Professional Players (FIFPro). The course supports ex-international footballers with making the transition into the business and governance of football following the end of their professional playing careers. It involves seven week-long sessions, staged in major global cities, each examining a different aspect of the administration and governance of a football organisation. The programme began in 2015 and this was the fourth cohort to graduate. 

Birkbeck’s Sean Hamil, who helps run the programme, commented:

“The MIP is a really significant programme in the world of football education. The curriculum is very well attuned to the needs of the industry and the participants as they develop their post-playing careers. It was brilliant to see the fourth cohort graduate and especially to hear them reflect so powerfully and positively on their experiences of the programme and how it has helped them in their professional journeys into the management structures of the industry.” 

At the graduation ceremony, former Netherlands midfielder Lucienne Reichardt and former Austria defender Sebastian Prödl gave an inspiring speech on behalf of the Class of 2023. UEFA General Secretary, Theodore Theodoridis, also spoke warmly about the significance of the programme and the importance of former players taking an active role in football decision-making. 

The fifth cohort of the UEFA MIP have already begun their programme and they will continue it into 2025, with the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre supporting them on their educational journey. 

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