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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 (usually ).

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 belong to UEFA rather than the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). These nations are Armeniamarker, Georgiamarker, Kazakhstanmarker, Turkeymarker, Israelmarker, Cyprusmarker, Russiamarker and Azerbaijanmarker (Israel and Kazakhstan are former AFC members). Cyprusmarker chose to be classed as a European football nation – it had the choice of Europe, Asia or Africa.

UEFA is the biggest of six continental confederations of FIFAmarker. Of 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, Spain, Italy and Germany. 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.

UEFA was founded on 15 June 1954 in Baselmarker, Switzerlandmarker following discussions between the French, Italian and Belgian FA. The headquarters was in Paris until 1959 when the organization moved to Bernmarker. Henri Delaunay was the first General Secretary and Ebbe Schwartz the president. Its administrative center since 1995 is in Nyonmarker, Switzerlandmarker. 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 Commissionmarker. 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 President is Michel Platini.

Competitions

Continental

The main competition for men's national teams is the UEFA European Football Championship, 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, Under-19 and Under-17 levels. For women's national teams, UEFA operates the UEFA Women's Championship for senior national sides and the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship at under-19 level, since 2008 there is a UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship for under-17 sides.

UEFA also organizes the UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup with CAF for youth teams.

UEFA launched the UEFA Regions' Cup, for semi-professional teams, in 1999.

In futsal there is the UEFA Futsal Championship and UEFA Futsal Under-19 Championship.

Club

Association football

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 was a summer competition, previously operated by several Central European football associations, 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.

The UEFA/CONMEBOL Intercontinental Cup was jointly organised with CONMEBOL between the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores winners .

Only three teams (Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich) have won each of the three main competitions (European Cup-UEFA 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 win.

Juventus is the only team in Europe to win all UEFA's official championships and cups 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 by the Union of European Football Associations on 12 July 1988.

Futsal

In futsal there is the UEFA Futsal Cup.

See also

UEFA competitions

Clubs: National teams: Semi-professional:


UEFA resolutions

Awards: Qualifications: Match:

Related articles



References



External links





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