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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 Chris, Lilia and Rolf do at FIFA:

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chrisName: Chris Unger

Job title: Head of FWC Office 2018 Russia

Age: 48

Nationality: Austria

Date joined FIFA: 2007

Why did you want to work for FIFA?

My first “job” in football (a volunteer position) was during a competition called the US Cup in 1993, the summer before the World Cup in the States. I was assigned as team liaison officer to Germany. It was a brilliant experience. Afterwards I was fortunate to be hired full-time in the NY venue for the World Cup itself. I suppose that’s when I got hooked on this World Cup planning stuff.

What exactly do you do at FIFA?

My team and I are the project managers of the Confederations Cups and World Cups, i.e. we coordinate planning for the many operational areas involved. We are also directly responsible for delivering competitions management, venue management and delegation management.

What has been the highlight of your time at FIFA to date?

I’m reminded every time I speak to family and friends about work – especially the football fans among them – that I’m very lucky to be doing what I’m doing, all of it really. But standing next to the stage watching the World Cup winners lift their trophy is especially memorable.

Has your impression of FIFA changed since you’ve joined?

We’ve had our ups and downs since I joined in 2007. I’m pleased to be able to look forward again with a clear focus on football.

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FOFName: Lilia Vinogradova

Job title: Personal Assistant to the SG

Age: 32

Nationality: Russia

Date joined FIFA: 2013

Why did you want to work for FIFA?

I have always been intrigued by the social nature of this game. How it managed to unite and drive people around me, how easily and genuinely they got passionate about it and how I felt involved – by just watching a football match.

Which footballer would you like to meet and why?

Sir Bobby Charlton, the ultimate gentleman on the field of play and the finest football player among gentlemen. It is amazing how we admire him even more as the time passes.

Who is your favourite football team of all time?

The Dutch national team of the 70s and their “Total Football” – for their elegant style and camaraderie on the field of play.

What has been the highlight of your time at FIFA to date?

The final match and awards ceremony at the FIFA World Cup Brazil in 2014, standing by the side of the trophy everyone wished they’d won and assisting with distributing the medals that everyone on the planet wanted to have.

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fofName: Rolf Tanner

Job title: Senior Group Leader / Legal Counsel

Age: 40

Nationality: Switzerland

Date joined FIFA: 2008

What exactly do you do at FIFA?

I am part of the Corporate and Sports Legal Department, which acts as FIFA’s internal legal advisory team and takes care of aspects such as the drafting of all sorts of non-commercial contracts, the FIFA Statutes and the review of the statutes of our member associations.

What has been the highlight of your time at FIFA to date?

One memorable moment was entering the Soccer City Stadium during the opening match of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg. The atmosphere was fantastic and the deafening sound of the vuvuzelas was incredible.

Has your impression of FIFA changed since you’ve joined?

Definitely. Our institution has come a long way, particularly in the past two years. FIFA has already accomplished a lot in terms of reforms and is increasingly aware of the need to become a more transparent and accountable world sports organisation. We are at a pivotal moment in FIFA’s history and we have the great opportunity to become a real example of good governance and ethical practice for other world organisations.

Which footballer would you like to meet and why?

Lucas Radebe, captain of the South African national team during the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups and winner of the FIFA Fair Play Award in 2000. Lucas is one of those players who have done a lot to better the lives of poor and disadvantaged children through his charity work.

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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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FIFA


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