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Former PNG international leads in law

Studying the Melbourne Law Masters has enabled Alexander Davani to combine his passion for sport with a career in the law.

Alexander Davani may have faced difficult decisions between soccer and the law, but the decision to study the Melbourne Law Masters was not one of them.

Davani, who played semi-professional soccer in Brisbane and represented Papua New Guinea internationally, says it was an easy decision to combine his two interests to study sports law in the Melbourne Law Masters.

“I felt it would provide an excellent opportunity to delve deeper into the legal theory underlying my practical experience and to learn from leaders in the industry,” Davani says.

Originally from Papua New Guinea, Davani studied law in Queensland, where he was admitted to the Supreme Court in 2007. After working at a law firm, he decided to focus on soccer, playing at a semi-professional level until 2011, when he took up a role in government relations before transitioning into a legal position on Papua New Guinea’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project.

But his passion for sport persisted. In 2011, Davani was elected Chair of the Athletes’ Commission and was appointed as a Board Member of the Olympic Committee in Papua New Guinea. In 2015, he became the Committee’s Commercial Manager before founding a sports consultancy in Papua New Guinea in 2016, where he has worked with the Olympic Committee, FIFAPro Asia and Oceania and FIFA’s Professional Football Department.

Davani says studying in the sports law program has given him a new lens through which to view the issues he encounters in his work.

“It has allowed me to cultivate a deeper understanding of the technical and regulatory framework of the global sports industry,” he says.

“The knowledge I have developed enables me to bring an extra depth to the issues I encounter and to approach them in an innovative way.”

For Davani, one of the highlights of the program has been the connections he has made.

“The program has given me access to some of the best legal minds in the industry and leaders in their field, such as Richard McLaren, who led the investigation for World Anti-Doping Agency into the Russian doping scandal,” Davani says.

“To learn and discuss what is happening at the cutting edge of sports law has been truly inspiring.”

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