Aisha Nazia (26) is among 30 candidates from as many countries chosen for prestigious postgraduate sports executive program, FIFA Master, endorsed by FIFA
In the nearly three years when she was employed with an oil public sector major, Aisha Nazia, a mechanical engineer, took multiple sabbaticals to escape the monotony of her job.
And every time, she made use of the breaks to be associated with the management of premier sporting events like the Indian Super League (ISL), FIFA Under-17 World Cup and National Games. As she found that to be her real calling, Ms. Nazia, in fact, later quit her job.
Now, the 26-year-old stands on the cusp of something really promising as one among the 30 candidates from as many countries chosen for the prestigious postgraduate sports executive program, FIFA Master, endorsed by the global football governing body FIFA.
While a merit scholarship has halved the course fee, she still have to raise another ₹28 lakh for which she has now hit a crowdfunding platform.
“I chose crowdfunding since I can’t take another bank loan without collateral since I have already taken a housing loan. I have so far raised ₹3.50 lakh, though mostly from friends and family,” says Ms. Nazia.
With the Non Disclosure Agreement of FIFA running out, she is now planning to go full throttle with the fund-raising. The FIFA Master programme comprises three modules taught across three universities in Europe — Humanities of Sport at De Montfort University, Leicester, England; Sport Management at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy; and Sport Law at Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
It packs in 80 field trips to elite clubs and headquarters of diverse sports like football, Formula 1, National Basketball Association (NBA) and much more. “It gives us exposure at the highest level of sports management with the opportunity to be hired by some of them,” she says.
Football remains her first love, especially Indian football. “I want to work closely with the development of Indian football. Even if I end up with some foreign football club or governing body, I still want to focus on potential tie-ups that may help our football grow,” says Ms. Nazia.
Sustainable sports management through the infusion of technology by bringing down carbon footprint is another area that interests her. Being an automobile freak and racing enthusiast, a potential job with Formula 1 also lures her.
As her dream journey is set to begin on September 16, the youngster remains confident of raising enough funds to power it.