The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Thursday in Moscow and runs through until the 15th of July.  The event will host 32 national teams, with 64 matches being played in 12 different venues located in 11 cities.  There is nothing quite like a World Cup and our Alumni will be there working with various organisations, on and off the field, and we will be catching up with some of them over the next 4 weeks. 

We get things rolling with Marely Flores, from Mexico, who graduated from the MAS class of 2008 and comes from a marketing and music performance background.  Marely has always had a great passion for football and has been with FIFA since 2016.  Prior to this, she was with AIBA as a Competition Manager, attending the London 2012 Olympic Games, and UEFA in Match Operations for UEFA Competitions (Champions League, Europa League, Women’s Champions League, Youth Competitions). 

AISTS – Tell us about your current role with FIFA 

I started at FIFA in August 2016. My first projects were to deliver the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea which were really great as I could put in practice the knowledge I got in previous projects, but now applied to my favourite sport at a global level.

Now we are preparing the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. For both projects, I am in daily contact with the Local Organising Committee to coordinate the delivery of the tournament, doing inspection visits and follow ups on matters related to stadium operations, competition management, venue management and training sites.

I am also responsible for the training of the General Coordinators and Competition Coordinators, who are responsible for implementing FIFA procedures and who supervise match operations on behalf of FIFA during the World Cups.

AISTS – So what is your job at the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

I will be one of the twelve Ceremonies Coordinators across Russia. There is 1 per stadium. I am leading the preparations and delivery of the pre-match ceremonies.  The role requires accurate planning and daily coordination with many different functional areas, which makes it very interesting. It includes for example people and time management, organisational skills, attention to detail, team spirit. This is my first World Cup with FIFA, so I am really excited to be part of it and learn from the experience.

AISTS – What do you most enjoy about your role at such a major event like this?

Being part of such a big event and contributing to make it happen in the best way possible is what I enjoy the most. It is really amazing to see such an event coming together after years of preparation.  I also love interacting with so many people from different countries to deliver the tournament as a team. 

AISTS – Do you have any advice for those looking at the next step in their sportsadministration career and wanting to get into events?

I would say get involved in different events, even as a volunteer, network and show your abilities. It is also important to keep in touch with the people who are working in the field you are interested in getting in. Most of all believe and follow your dreams, be patient and persistent, you will eventually get where you want to be!

Experience the world of sport in the Olympic Capital

Participants attend several full-day workshops throughout the programme to experience sport. These sessions are delivered by the sport organisations and federations themselves and provide a unique hands-on experience and well as an ideal opportunity to connect to our alumni and experts working in the industry.