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Dr Borja García joined the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences in January 2009. He holds a PhD in Politics, International Relations and European Studies from Loughborough University (United Kingdom), where he completed his thesis titled ‘The European Union and the Governance of Football: A game of levels and agendas’.

Prior to joining Loughborough, Dr García graduated with an MA (‘very good’) in European Political and Administrative Studies at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and he also completed an MA (‘with merit’) in European Politics at the University of Leeds (United Kingdom). A graduate in media studies (Complutense University, Madrid, Spain), Dr García worked full time in different Spanish media (including print, radio and online media) for five years before joining the European Parliament’s Madrid office during the 2002 Spanish presidency of the EU.

Dr García is an internationally recognised expert in the area of EU sports law, policy and governance. As a result of his expertise, he has taught sports policy and governance at internationally leading institutions such as the German Sports University Cologne or Seoul National University (Republic of Korea). Dr García has published extensively in international academic journals and is a regular expert contributor in media outlets such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, Sky News, TRT, The Guardian, and Cadena SER.

As a result of his work and expertise, Dr García has advised European Union institutions and agencies (European Parliament, European Commission, European Education and Culture Executive Agency), sport organisations (FA, Korean Olympic Committee, Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee, Football Supporters Europe), and governmental institutions such as the Commonwealth and the government of the Republic of Kosovo.

Dr Borja García was awarded in 2010 a ‘European Citizen of Honour’ award in the ‘academic’ category by the European think tank, Sport & Citizenship. This award recognised the person who best demonstrated through their academic work that sport is a factor reinforcing European citizenship.

Dr Borja García is an internationally recognised expert on European Union sports law and policy, and sports governance. His research work and expertise cover mainly three areas.

European Union sports policy and law
  • The application of EU law to sport and sport organisations
  • The development and institutional dynamics of EU sport policy
  • The European model of sport and the governance of sport in Europe
  • The consequences of Brexit for sport
Global sports governance
  • Assessment of good governance in sport
  • The relations between sport organisations and governmental organisations
  • Sports policy and governance in developing countries
  • Geopolitics and sports governance
The political activism of football supporters
  • Comparative role of supporter activism in Europe
  • The opportunities and barriers of supporter participation and supporter activism
  • The importance of supporters’ involvement in football governance

Dr García has supervised to completion over a dozen Doctoral Researchers in his areas of research expertise. He is open to PhD supervision in the areas outlined above, especially those related to the analysis of EU sport policy implementation and the governance of sport in developing countries. Contact him to discuss prospective PhD proposals.

Dr García’s research has received funding from national and international bodies. Most notably, he was the Principal Investigator on a €2.5 million grant from the European Union (FP7) to research the social impact of football on European integration. He was also co-investigator on a GBP 300,000 grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to research the impact of Brexit on the external image of the UK and its foreign relations. He has received further research funding from the International Olympic Committee, the Commonwealth, and the Socio Legal Studies Association.

Borja García is a member of the Sports Law, Sports Policies and Sports Diplomacy Centre, University of Rijeka (Croatia). He is also a visiting professor at top international universities such as Kadir Has University (Turkey), German Sports University Cologne (Germany), Molde University College (Norway), Seoul National University (Republic of Korea), and University of Rijeka (Croatia).

Borja García has lead the academic development of the study of sport within the discipline of European studies and political science. When he was a PhD student, he founded the Association for the Study of Sport and the European Union (Sport&EU). He is still a member of the board and the executive director of the association. Sport&EU is the leading academic association for the study of sport in the European Union and it has developed under Dr García’s leadership to reach a membership of over 600 academics and practitioners.

Dr Borja García is a founding associate editor of the Journal of Global Sport Management. He is also a founding editor of the Sports Law, Policy & Diplomacy Journal. He is an editorial board member of the International Journal of Sports Law.

Borja García served for two years as a member of the advisory board of Supporters Direct Europe. During this time, he worked with the CEO and other members of Supporters Direct Europe, advising them on lobbying the European Parliament and UEFA to ensure the recognition of supporters as legitimate stakeholders in football governance. Both the European Parliament and UEFA accepted in several reports the arguments that Dr García helped to develop and shape for the interventions of Supporters Direct Europe.

As a result of his work and expertise, Dr García has been part of the international group of experts commissioned by the Government of Kosovo to draft the country’s new National Sports Act. His work has actively shaped the focus of the legislation and has also contributed to the development of a code of good governance for sport in Kosovo.

Dr Borja García has been invited as a keynote or expert speaker by organisations such as FIFA, the Guatemala National Olympic Committee, the Sri Lanka National Olympic Committee, the European Parliament, Supporters Direct Scotland, World Football Summit, and the European Sport Forum. 

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