Meet the 'Faces of FIFA'... (Jorge, Tom & Laura)

FOF

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 Jorge, Tom and Laura do at FIFA:


jorge

Name: Jorge Díaz-Cidoncha García

Job title: Youth Football & Grassroots Manager

Age: 33

Nationality: Spain

Date joined FIFA: 2008

Why did you want to work for FIFA?

After studying and playing for Perth, I applied to organisations that I dreamt of working for. I sent my CV to FIFA, and luckily, it worked! I joined a bit later, with many expectations and a lot to learn.

What exactly do you do at FIFA?

I am FIFA’s Youth Football & Grassroots Manager. We increase football participation worldwide, and focus on developing national elite domestic
youth competitions, building links from grassroots to senior football. We provide technical tailor-made support to each MA.

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

So many! The Ballon d’Or. Supporting so many different countries with what I do best: youth football development! I also got a professional coaching licence and a PhD in Sports Science! However, if I had to choose one, it would be the FIFA tournaments: from the U-17 and U-20 World Cups to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

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

Before joining, it seemed a distant place that only a few people could get to. Today, it is an approachable organisation with great people, from many different backgrounds, which has provided me with a great professional experience.


FOF

Name: Tom Gilmour

Job title: FIFA Tournaments Manager

Age: 33

Nationality: United Kingdom

Date joined FIFA: 2011

Why did you want to work for FIFA?

I’m a football fan and I’d always wanted to try to work with something that I’m passionate about.

I volunteered at a FIFA competition and met some of the dedicated people working in football and I knew I wanted to be part of this.

What exactly do you do at FIFA?

I’m part of the event management team for the FIFA Club World Cup and FIFA U-20 World Cup. Our team visits the host country several times in the years leading up to the tournament to ensure the infrastruc- ture is suitable and that there are sufficient hotels for the teams and FIFA delegation. It’s busy and requires me to be away from home a lot but working with football and great people is enjoyable and motivating!

Which footballer (or person involved in football) would you like to meet and why?

As a teenager I never imagined my team (Chelsea) would win a league title but in 2005 we finally did after a 50-year wait, under José Mourinho. I think most football fans would agree that a conversation with Mourinho would always be entertaining so he’d definitely be my choice!

Who is your favourite football team of all time?

As well as the Chelsea team with a spine of Cech, Terry, Lampard and Drogba, my other favourite team would be the England team that played in the European Championships in 1996.


laura

Name: Laura Dijak

Job title: Legal Counsel

Age: 31

Nationality: Switzerland

Date joined FIFA: 2015

Why did you want to work for FIFA?

I have always wanted to combine my interest in sports, culture and languages and, at the same time, work in a young, dynamic environment. In 2011, I started at FIFA TMS, which gave me the opportunity to travel to various continents and to see how passionately people talk and live football... After years of close collabora- tion with various FIFA departments, I was excited to join the parent company a bit over a year ago.

What exactly do you do at FIFA?

I work for the Ethics Department, which acts as the secretariat to the independent Ethics Committee. Our department also creates programmes that aim to raise awareness of the importance of ethical behaviour in football amongst FIFA’s stakeholders.

Who is your favourite football team of all time?

I have become a big FC Barcelona fan, mainly thanks to the team of 2005-6. I was living only a few blocks away from the Camp Nou at the time and was regularly attending matches. When they won the Spanish league title, the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup that season, the atmosphere all over the city was simply breathtaking.

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

While I was still with FIFA TMS, I had the privilege of attending the World Cup in Brazil. Being in the stadium for the final was a one-of-a-kind experience!


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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