FIFA 520 inart

FIFA is one of the most recognisable and well-known sports institutions. Many of us know its function as the organisation responsible for upholding the Laws of the Game and, in doing so, providing a common, simple language to support the unique, unifying power of football.

FIFA’s open and democratic structure gives the beautiful game the foundation it needs to grow and thrive. Founded in 1904 and based in Zurich, it has developed a commitment over the years to delivering development projects and activities, competitions and events. With 211 member associations, it is a truly global organisation with its influence very much felt throughout the world.

What is not so well-known is who the people are that keep this extraordinary institution ticking over. Who are the 'Faces of FIFA'? Where are they from? What do their roles entail? Why did they choose to work there? What exactly does it mean to work for international football's governing body?

Find out what Armelle, Narayanasamy & Elizabeth do at FIFA:

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armelleName: Armelle Canet

Job title: Senior Manager of TV Event Operations

Age: 40

Nationality: France

Date joined FIFA: 2013

What exactly do you do at FIFA?
I am part of the host broadcast production team in FIFA’s TV Division which is in charge of the TV operations to bring all FIFA competitions to audiences across the globe through our media rights licensees.

Which footballer (or person involved in football) would you like to meet and why?
I would like to meet Lionel Messi or David Beckham to discuss their involvement as international ambassadors for UNICEF. Football is international and I find it great that they use the sport as a means to fight for children’s well-being.

What has been the highlight of your time at FIFA so far?
I was lucky to be selected as the FIFA TV representative for this year’s FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme. These workshops have been an eye-opener on the condition of women leaders in football associations around the globe, as well as an opportunity to meet more than 30 amazing women from all confederations who share the will to break barriers for women and girls through football.

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narayName: Narayanasamy Natarajan

Job title: Executive ICT Programme Manager

Age: 51

Nationality: United Kingdom

Date joined FIFA: 2015

What exactly do you do at FIFA?
I am a member of FIFA ICT team, and am currently responsible for FRM (Fan Relationship Management) and the ICT programme for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Which footballer (or person involved in football) would you like to meet and why?
Diego Maradona’s ‘Goal of the Century’ will always remain in my memory. I grew up in Southern India and Maradona has a huge following in that part of the world. It would be interesting to talk with him.

What has been the highlight of your time at FIFA so far?
Attending the 2018 FWC Preliminary Draw in St Petersburg, which was a beautiful curtain-raiser for the upcoming main event. Also, it was a pleasure and an honour to be elected as one of the three employee representatives in our organisation’s pension fund and contribute to our colleagues’ welfare.

Has your impression of FIFA changed since you joined?
I joined FIFA in May 2015, a period when the organisation was just about starting to redefine itself leading to a raft of changes, both organisational and thought-process related. Change necessarily means new frontiers, new thinking and re-directed energy and that is exactly what I am starting to experience at FIFA now. Every day is exciting and something to look forward to!

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elizabethName: Elizabeth Eastman

Job title: Connect Programme Coordinator

Age: 28

Nationality: USA

Date joined FIFA: 2014

Why did you want to work for FIFA?
I have been involved with football since I was very young and it is a passion of mine. I like what sports can do for people – bring joy, build character, and even change the world. I want to work in something that I love and believe in.

What exactly do you do at FIFA?
I work in the Member Associations Department on Connect Services as part of FIFA Forward. Connect is a project that enables global stakeholder registration. We help the members get a better understanding of who is playing/involved in the game in their countries and how they can better use this information in the running of their associations.

Which is your favourite football team of all time?
GCZ beach soccer – we won the first-ever Women’s Beach Soccer Euro Winners’ Cup. Then the ’99 USA women and ’98 England squads.

Has your impression of FIFA changed since you joined?
Yes, I have more respect for how hard people have to fight for change. Things like gender equality for competitions in futsal and beach soccer are still missing, but it gives you a bit of hope to see that people are trying. It is our job to try to protect the game and give as many opportunities to as many people as possible to play.

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FIFA’s monthly magazine, FIFA 1904, provides insight into working at FIFA. Each edition includes FIFA team member profiles under the titles ‘Faces of FIFA’ (short interviews with three team members) and ‘A day in the life of’ (a more complete look into a day with a selected team member).

Check out the latest edition of FIFA 1904 to learn more about working at FIFA!

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