A Day in the Life of a FIFA U/17 World Cup Project Manager

Ankush Arora, AISTS MAS graduate from the class of 2014, has been working with the local organising committee of the FIFA U/17 World Cup in India since 2016 as a Project Manager. 

The FIFA U/17 World Cup is being held at the moment in India.  Although India has organised a wide variety of sporting events, ranging from the Asian Games to the Commonwealth Games and world championships in sports like cricket and field hockey, it is the first time that the planet’s second most populated country is hosting a FIFA event. From the 6th to the 28th of October Ankush will be in full swing as India's first FIFA football event takes place.  We asked Ankush a few questions about how a day looks for him with the LOC FIFA U/17.

AISTS - what was your path from AISTS to FIFA U/17?

Ankush - After completing my graduation at AISTS, I joined Event Knowledge Services for a short assignment post which I decided to move back to India. Upon moving back to India, I reached out to a lot of leading organisations to seek work opportunities. Luckily for me I reached out to LOC FIFA U-17 World Cup at the right time and rest as they say is history.

AISTS - What is your role now with FIFA U/17?

Ankush - I am currently working with the LOC FIFA U-17 as Project Manager, the role is very diverse while on one hand I am responsible for matters like Volunteer Programme, Sustainability and Legacy for the tournament on the other hand I also look after the central procurement process for all the overlays required for the successful conduct of the event along with supporting the senior management on general coordination within the LOC and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport, Government of India.

AISTS - Can you describe a regular day of work for you?

Ankush - As mentioned above the role is quite diverse and hence the regular days also vary accordingly. On some days, my complete focus is on Volunteer Programme wherein I may be travelling to any of the host city for Volunteer interviews on others I am constantly working with the various departments on their procurement/tendering strategies, drafting the request for proposals and then overseeing the subsequent procedures leading to the award of work. Since public money is being utilised for the procurement it makes the process even more tedious and requires a great deal of attention to detail.

AISTS - What do you most enjoy about your role with FIFA U/17?

Ankush - The thing I enjoy the most about my role is that I am getting a complete overview on how to organise a major sports event. India is a very diverse nation and the tournament being held across the length and breadth of the country I think it’s a unique challenge which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. Apart from this, the team that we have here is a great one to work with which has been a thoroughly a journey to remember (a good amount of AISTS representation helps as well). Working on India’s first FIFA tournament is a matter of great pride for one and all involved.

AISTS - How do you see this event helping ‘Indian sport’ and what legacy do you think it will leave behind?

Ankush - This is well and truly a historic moment for Indian Sport and Indian Football. The tournament has already left a lasting legacy with eleven million kids across the country being connected to the beautiful game by the virtue of our legacy project call Mission XI Million. Apart from that, the country has now 6 world class football venues along with 24 world class training sites which will give a great boost to football infrastructure in the country. Not only that the way this tournament is being organised is totally different to how any other event has been organised in the country. Without a doubt, I can proudly say this tournament will be a defining moment for major sports event organisation in the country.

There are also 4 other AISTS Alumni working for the LOC FIFA U/17 which include Varun Ranjan (2010), Mandeep Saharan (2014), Vishnu Murali (2014) and Saurabh Mishra (2015) and we wish them well for the remainder of the event. 

For more information about the FIFA U/17 go to www.fifa.com/u17worldcup/news/index.html

Photos courtesy of Ankush Arora and FIFA U/17. 

About the AISTS

Since 2003, the AISTS has graduated close to 500 sports managers, representing over 100 countries from all continents. The attractiveness of the AISTS MAS programme lies in its unique and multidisciplinary approach, which integrates knowledge from the fields of management and economics, technology, law, sociology, and medicine. The AISTS MAS degree is co-signed by the EPFL, the University of Geneva and University of Lausanne.

Based in the heart of the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, the programme is taught by over 140 world-class experts from the sports industry, and academics.

The majority of graduates pursue careers with national or international sports organisations, such as the International Olympic Committee, national and international sports federations, and sport businesses.


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