The Union of European Football Associations
( ) is
the administrative and controlling body for European football
. It is almost always referred
to by its acronym UEFA
UEFA represents the national football associations of Europe
, runs Europewide national and club
competitions, and controls the prize money, regulations and media
rights to those competitions. Several national football
associations which are geographically in Asia
or mostly in Asia
UEFA rather than the Asian
(AFC). These nations are Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Russia and Azerbaijan (Israel and Kazakhstan are former AFC
members). Cyprus chose to be
classed as a European football nation – it had the choice of
Europe, Asia or Africa.
the biggest of six continental confederations of FIFA.
all the confederations, it is by far the strongest in terms of
wealth and influence over the global game. Virtually all of the
world's top players play in European leagues in part due to the
salaries available from the world's wealthiest football clubs,
particularly in England
. Many of the world's
strongest national sides are in UEFA. Of the 32 available spots in
the 2006 FIFA World Cup
, 14 were
allocated to UEFA national teams, and currently 14 of the top 20
teams in the FIFA World Rankings
are UEFA members.
founded on 15 June 1954 in Basel, Switzerland following discussions between the French, Italian and Belgian FA. The headquarters was
in Paris until 1959 when the organization moved to Bern.
was the first General
Secretary and Ebbe Schwartz
. Its administrative
center since 1995 is in Nyon, Switzerland.
It was initially made up of 25 national
associations. Currently there are 53 associations (see the bottom
of this page or List
of UEFA national football teams
UEFA, as a
representative of the national associations, has had a number of
bruising clashes with the European Commission.
In the 1990s the issues of television
rights and especially international transfers (the Bosman ruling
) have had to undergo some major
changes to remain in line with European law.
The current UEFA
The main competition for men's national teams is the UEFA European Football
, started in 1958, with the first finals in 1960,
and known as the European Nations Cup until 1964. UEFA also runs
national competitions at Under-21
levels. For women's
national teams, UEFA operates the UEFA Women's Championship
senior national sides and the UEFA Women's Under-19
at under-19 level, since 2008 there is a UEFA Women's Under-17
for under-17 sides.
UEFA also organizes the UEFA-CAF
for youth teams.
UEFA launched the UEFA Regions'
, for semi-professional teams, in 1999.
there is the UEFA Futsal Championship
UEFA Futsal Under-19
UEFA member countries by club
competition entry entitlements, 2007/8
UEFA also runs the two main club competitions in Europe (knowns as
UEFA club competitions
): the UEFA Champions League
was first held
in 1955, and was known as the European Champion Clubs Cup (or just
European Cup) until 1992; and the UEFA Europa League
(former UEFA Cup), for
national knockout cup winners and high-placed league teams, was
launched by UEFA in 1971 as a successor to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
(also begun in
1955 but not recognized by UEFA ). A third competition, the
Cup Winners' Cup
, started in
1960 and was absorbed into the UEFA Cup in 1999.
The UEFA Super Cup
, which pits
the winners of the Champions League against the winners of the UEFA
Europa League (previously the winners of the Cup Winners' Cup),
came into being in 1973 .
The UEFA Intertoto Cup
summer competition, previously operated by several Central European
which was relaunched and recognized as official UEFA club competition
by UEFA in 1995 . The last Intertoto Cup took place in 2008. UEFA
also conducts the UEFA
Women's Champions League
for women's club teams, first held in
2001, and known as the UEFA Women's Cup until 2009.
was jointly organised with CONMEBOL
between the Champions League
and the Copa Libertadores
won each of the three main competitions
Champions League, UEFA Cup Winner's Cup and UEFA Cup/Europa
League), a feat that is no longer possible for any team that did
not win the Cup Winners' Cup (such as Real Madrid). There are
currently nine teams throughout Europe that have won two of the
three trophies; all have won the Cup Winners Cup, four require a
win in the Champions League and five require a UEFA Europa League
is the only team in Europe
to win all UEFA's official championships and
and, as the first side in the history of the European
football to have won the three major UEFA competitions, have
received The UEFA Plaque
the Union of European Football Associations on 12 July 1988.
In futsal there is the UEFA Futsal