UEFA

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UEFA
Union of European Football Associations
AbbreviationUEFA
Formation15 June 1954; 69 years ago (1954-06-15)
Founded atBasel, Switzerland
TypeFootball organisation
HeadquartersNyon, Switzerland
Coordinates46°22′16″N 6°13′52″E / 46.371009°N 6.23103°E / 46.371009; 6.23103
Region
Europe
Membership
55 full member associations
Official languages
English
French
German
(other main but not official: Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish)[1]
Aleksander Čeferin[2]
First vice-president
Karl-Erik Nilsson
Vice-presidents
Zbigniew Boniek
Armand Duka
David Gill
Gabriele Gravina
Laura McAllister
General secretary
Theodore Theodoridis
Main organ
UEFA Congress
Parent organization
FIFA
Websiteuefa.com

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA /jˈfə/ yoo-AY-fə; French: Union des associations européennes de football;[a] German: Union der europäischen Fußballverbände)[b] is one of six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan, as well as the West Asian countries of Cyprus, Armenia and Israel.[3] UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Since 2022, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, FIFA and UEFA suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.[4][5]

UEFA consists of the national football associations of Europe, and runs national and club competitions including the UEFA European Championship, UEFA Nations League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League, and UEFA Super Cup, and also controls the prize money, regulations, as well as media rights to those competitions.

Henri Delaunay acted as the first general secretary and Ebbe Schwartz as the first president. The current president is Aleksander Čeferin, a former Football Association of Slovenia president, who was elected as UEFA's seventh president at the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens in September 2016, and automatically became a vice-president of the world body FIFA.[6]

History and membership[edit]

UEFA was officially inaugurated on 15 June 1954 in Basel, Switzerland after consultation between the Italian, French, and Belgian associations.[7] At the founding meeting, 25 members were present. However, 6 other associations which were not present were still recognised as founding members, bringing the total of founding associations to 31.[8] UEFA grew to more than 50 members by the mid-1990s, as new associations were born out of the fragmentation of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia into their constituent states.

UEFA's main headquarters after its foundation were located in Paris, but moved to Bern in 1960. They moved to Nyon, Switzerland, in 1995, where they operated out of temporary offices until 1999 while the organisation's current headquarters were under construction.[9]

UEFA membership coincides for the most part with recognition as a sovereign country in Europe (48 out of 55 members are sovereign UN member states), although there are some exceptions. One UN member state (Monaco) and one UN General Assembly non-member observer state (Vatican City) are not members. Some UEFA members are not sovereign states, but form part of a larger recognised sovereign state in the context of international law. These include England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (constituent countries of the United Kingdom), Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory), the Faroe Islands (autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark), and Kosovo (state with limited recognition), however, in the context of these countries, government functions concerning sport tend to be carried at the territorial level coterminous with the UEFA member entity. UEFA have previously declined membership to those deemed as non-sovereign countries like Jersey.[10]

Some UEFA members are transcontinental states (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkey) and others are considered part of Europe both culturally and politically (Cyprus and Armenia). Countries which had been members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) were also admitted to the European football association, such as Israel (because it had been banned from the AFC group in 1974) and Kazakhstan.

Some UEFA member associations allow teams from outside their association's main territory to take part in their "domestic" competition. AS Monaco, for example, takes part in the French League (though a separate sovereign entity); Welsh clubs Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County A.F.C. and Wrexham A.F.C. participate in the English League; Derry City, situated in Northern Ireland, plays in the Republic of Ireland-based League of Ireland; A team from San Marino participates in the Italian League; FC Andorra, situated in Andorra, plays in the Spanish League and the 7 native Liechtenstein teams play in the Swiss Leagues, as Liechtenstein has no internal league [11] and only a cup competition.

National teams represented by UEFA are known for being successful throughout the history of the FIFA World Cup. Out of 22 tournaments so far, European teams have won 12 World Cup titles. Italy and Germany have four titles each, followed by France with two titles and England and Spain, winning once each. The national associations of these countries also are responsible for organizing the so-called «Europe's Big Five», consisting of Spain's La Liga, England's Premier League, Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1.[12]

On 28 February 2022, due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and in accordance with a recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the UEFA suspended the participation of Russia.[13][14] The Russian Football Union unsuccessfully appealed the UEFA ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which upheld the ban.[15][16] On 26 September, 2023 the ban was lifted for the Russia national under-17 football team enabling them to complete in the 2024 UEFA European Under-17 Championship with UEFA saying "by banning children from our competitions, we not only fail to recognise and uphold a fundamental right for their holistic development but we directly discriminate against them". The lifting of the ban also applied to all teams, men and women, of underage players.[17] This was rejected by the FA of Ukraine, England, and Sweden, with all three threatening to boycott matches against Russia.[18]

Executive committee[edit]

UEFA executive committee is composed of;[19]

List of UEFA office holders[edit]

List of presidents of UEFA
Secretary general Nationality Term
Ebbe Schwartz  Denmark 1954–1962
Gustav Wiederkehr  Switzerland 1962–1972
Sándor Barcs  Hungary 1972–1973 (acting)
Artemio Franchi  Italy 1973–1983
Jacques Georges  France 1983–1990
Lennart Johansson  Sweden 1990–2007
Michel Platini  France 2007–2015
Ángel María Villar  Spain 2015–2016 (acting)
Aleksander Čeferin  Slovenia 2016–present
List of secretaries general of UEFA
Chief Executive
Secretary general Nationality Term
Henri Delaunay  France 1954–1955
Pierre Delaunay  France 1955–1960
Hans Bangerter  Switzerland 1960–1989
Gerhard Aigner  Germany 1989–1999
1999–2003
Lars-Christer Olsson  Sweden 2003–2007
Gianni Infantino  Switzerland
 Italy
2007
David Taylor  Scotland 2007–2009
Gianni Infantino  Switzerland
 Italy
2009–2016
Theodore Theodoridis  Greece 2016–present

Members[edit]

Code Association National teams Founded FIFA
affiliation
UEFA
affiliation
IOC
member
ALB  Albania 1930 1932 1954 Yes
AND  Andorra 1994 1996 1996 Yes
ARM  Armenia 1992 1992 1992 Yes
AUT  Austria 1904 1905 1954 Yes
AZE  Azerbaijan 1992 1994 1994 Yes
BLR  Belarus 1989 1992 1993 Yes
BEL  Belgium 1895 1904 1954 Yes
BIH  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1920 1996 1998 Yes
BUL  Bulgaria 1923 1924 1954 Yes
CRO  Croatia 1912 1992 1993 Yes
CYP  Cyprus 1934 1948 1962 Yes
CZE  Czech Republic 1901 1907 1954 Yes
DEN  Denmark 1889 1904 1954 Yes
ENG  England 1863 1905 1954 No[c]
EST  Estonia 1921 1923 1992 Yes
FRO  Faroe Islands 1979 1988 1990 No[d]
FIN  Finland 1907 1908 1954 Yes
FRA  France 1919[e] 1904[f] 1954 Yes
GEO  Georgia 1990 1992 1992 Yes
GER  Germany 1900 1904 1954 Yes
GIB  Gibraltar 1895 2016 2013 No[c]
GRE  Greece 1926 1927 1954 Yes
HUN  Hungary 1901 1906 1954 Yes
ISL  Iceland 1947[g] 1947 1954 Yes
ISR  Israel[h] 1928 1929 1994[i] Yes
ITA  Italy 1898 1905 1954 Yes
KAZ  Kazakhstan[j] 1994 1994 2002 Yes[k]
KOS  Kosovo 2008 2016 2016 Yes
LVA  Latvia 1921 1922 1992 Yes
LIE  Liechtenstein 1934 1974 1974 Yes
LTU  Lithuania 1922 1923 1992 Yes
LUX  Luxembourg 1908 1910 1954 Yes
MLT  Malta 1900 1959 1960 Yes
MDA  Moldova 1990 1994 1993 Yes
MNE  Montenegro 1931 2007 2007 Yes
NED  Netherlands 1889 1904 1954 Yes
MKD  North Macedonia 1926 1994 1994 Yes
NIR  Northern Ireland 1880 1911 1954 No[c]
NOR  Norway 1902 1908 1954 Yes
POL  Poland 1919[l] 1923 1954 Yes
POR  Portugal 1914 1923 1954 Yes
IRL  Republic of Ireland 1921 1923 1954 Yes
ROU  Romania 1909 1923 1954 Yes
RUS  Russia 1912 1912 1954 Yes
SMR  San Marino 1931 1988 1988 Yes
SCO  Scotland 1873 1910 1954 No[c]
SRB  Serbia 1919 1921 1954 Yes
SVK  Slovakia 1938 1994 1993 Yes
SVN  Slovenia 1920 1992 1992 Yes
ESP  Spain 1909 1904 1954 Yes
SWE  Sweden 1904 1904 1954 Yes
SUI  Switzerland 1895 1904 1954 Yes
TUR  Turkey 1923 1923 1962 Yes
UKR  Ukraine 1991 1992 1992 Yes
WAL  Wales 1876 1910 1954 No[c]

Former members[edit]

Association Year Note
Saarland 1954–1956 [m]
East Germany East Germany 1954–1990 [n]
Soviet Union Soviet Union 1954–1991 [o]
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia 1954–1993 [p]
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia > Serbia and Montenegro Yugoslavia
> Serbia and Montenegro Serbia-Montenegro
1954–2003
2003–2006
[q]

Competitions[edit]

UEFA continental competitions[edit]

UEFA runs official international competitions in Europe and some countries of Northern, Southwestern and Central Asia for national teams and professional clubs, known as UEFA competitions, some of which are regarded as the world's most prestigious tournaments.

UEFA is the organiser of two of the most prestigious competitions in international football: The UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. The main competition for men's national teams is the UEFA European Championship (also known as the Euro), which started in 1958, with the first finals in 1960, and was known as the European Nations Cup until 1964. The UEFA Nations League is the second tournament of UEFA and was introduced in 2018. The tournament largely replaced the international friendly matches previously played on the FIFA International Match Calendar. It will be played every two years.

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 as well as Women's Under-19 and Women's Under-17 Championships.

World, Olympic and intercontinental competitions[edit]

Beside continental European competitions for national and their junior teams, the UEFA organizes various qualification male and female tournaments among European national and their junior teams for World Cups (organized by FIFA) and Olympics (organized by IOC).

UEFA also organised the UEFA–CAF Meridian Cup with CAF for youth teams in an effort to boost youth football. UEFA launched the UEFA Regions' Cup, for semi-professional teams representing their local region, in 1999. In futsal there is the UEFA Futsal Championship and UEFA Under-19 Futsal Championship. Despite the existence of UEFA's Futsal and Beach soccer committee, UEFA does not organise any beach soccer competitions. International and club beach soccer competitions for UEFA members are organised externally by Beach Soccer Worldwide.

The Italian, German, Spanish, French and Russian[r] men's national teams are the only teams to have won the European football championship in all categories.

Club[edit]

UEFA member countries by club competition entry entitlements, 2009/10

The top-ranked UEFA competition is the UEFA Champions League, which started in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs' Cup (or simply the European Cup) and initially only gathered the top team of each country; this competition has since been expanded to gather the top 1–4 teams of each country's league (the number of teams depend on that country's ranking and can be upgraded or downgraded).

A second, lower-ranked competition is the UEFA Europa League. This competition, for national knockout cup winners and high-placed league teams, was launched by UEFA in 1971 as a successor of both the former UEFA Cup and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (also began in 1955). A third competition, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, which started in 1960, was absorbed into the UEFA Cup (now UEFA Europa League) in 1999.

In December 2018, UEFA announced the creation of a third club competition, later named the UEFA Europa Conference League. The competition features 32 teams in 8 groups of 4, with a knockout round between the second placed teams in Europa Conference League and the third placed teams in the Europa League, leading to a final 16 knockout stage featuring the eight group winners. The first edition of the competition was played in 2021–2022.[23]

In women's football UEFA also conducts the UEFA Women's Champions League for club teams. The competition was first held in 2001, and was known as the UEFA Women's Cup until 2009.

The UEFA Super Cup pits the winners of the Champions League against the winners of the Europa League (previously the winners of the Cup Winners' Cup), and came into being in 1973.[24][25][26]

The UEFA Intertoto Cup was a summer competition, previously operated by several Central European football associations, which was relaunched and recognised as official UEFA club competition by UEFA in 1995.[27] The last Intertoto Cup took place in 2008.

The European/South American Cup was jointly organised with CONMEBOL between the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores winners.[28]

Only five teams[29][30] (Juventus, Ajax, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea[s]) have won each of the three main competitions (European Cup/UEFA Champions League, European Cup Winners' Cup/UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League),[31] a feat that is no longer possible for any team that did not win the Cup Winners' Cup. There are currently eight teams throughout Europe that have won two of the three trophies; all but one have won the Cup Winners' Cup, four require a win in the Champions League and four require a UEFA Europa League win.

Until the first staging of the UEFA Europa Conference League in 2022, Juventus of Italy was the only team in Europe to win all UEFA's official championships and cups[32] and, in commemoration of achieving that feat, have received The UEFA Plaque by the Union of European Football Associations on 12 July 1988.[33][34]

UEFA's premier futsal competition is the UEFA Futsal Cup, a tournament started in 2001 which replaced the former Futsal European Clubs Championship. This event, despite enjoying a long and well-established tradition in the European futsal community, dating back to 1984, was never recognised as official by UEFA.

Recently, there has been an attempt to create a Europa League-style second tier women's club competition, which has been in discussion since 2021.[35]

Current title holders[edit]

Competition Year Champions Title Runners-up Next edition
Intercontinental (UEFA–CONMEBOL)
Cup of Champions 2022  Argentina 2nd  Italy 2025
Women's Finalissima 2023  England 1st  Brazil 2026
UEFA–CONMEBOL Club Challenge 2023 Spain Sevilla 1st Ecuador Independiente del Valle 2024
Under-20 Intercontinental Cup 2023 Argentina Boca Juniors 1st Netherlands AZ 2024
Futsal Finalissima 2022  Portugal 1st  Spain 2026
Men's national teams
European Championship 2020  Italy 2nd  England 2024
Nations League 2022–23  Spain 1st  Croatia 2024–25
U-21 Championship 2023  England 3rd  Spain 2025
U-19 Championship 2023  Italy 4th  Portugal 2024
U-17 Championship 2024  Italy 2nd  Portugal 2025
Futsal Championship 2022  Portugal 2nd  Russia 2026
U-19 Futsal Championship 2023  Portugal 1st  Spain 2025
Women's national teams
Women's Championship 2022  England 1st  Germany 2025
Women's Nations League 2023–24  Spain 1st  France 2025–26
Women's U-19 Championship 2023  Spain 5th  Germany 2024
Women's U-17 Championship 2024  Spain 5th  England 2025
Women's Futsal Championship 2023  Spain 3rd  Ukraine 2027
Men's club teams
Super Cup 2023 England Manchester City 1st Spain Sevilla 2024
Champions League 2023–24 Spain Real Madrid 15th Germany Borussia Dortmund 2024–25
Europa League 2023–24 Italy Atalanta 1st Germany Bayer Leverkusen 2024–25
Europa Conference League 2023–24 Greece Olympiacos 1st Italy Fiorentina 2024–25
Youth League 2023–24 Greece Olympiacos 1st Italy Milan 2024–25
Futsal Champions League 2023–24 Spain Palma Futsal 2nd Spain Barcelona 2024–25
Women's club teams
Women's Champions League 2023–24 Spain Barcelona 3rd France Lyon 2024–25
Women's Second Competition 2025–26
Men's amateur teams
Regions' Cup 2023 Spain Galicia 1st Serbia Belgrade 2025

Titles by nation[edit]

Nation Men Women Futsal Total
Euro NL U21 U19 U17 Euro NL U19 U17 Men's U19 Women's
 Spain 3 1 5 11 9 1 5 5 7 2 3 52
 Germany[t] 3 3 6 4 8 6 8 38
 France 2 1 1 8 3 5 1 21
 England 3 11 2 1 1 18
 Italy 2 5 4 2 1 2 16
 Portugal 1 1 4 6 2 1 15
 Russia[u] 1 2 6 3 1 1 14
 Netherlands 1 2 4 1 1 9
 Sweden 1 1 3 5
 Czech Republic[v] 1 1 1 1 4
 Serbia[w] 1 3 4
 Bulgaria 3 3
 Hungary 3 3
 Poland 1 1 1 3
 Turkey 1 2 3
 Austria 2 2
 Denmark 1 1 2
 Norway 2 2
 Republic of Ireland 1 1 2
 Belgium 1 1
 Greece 1 1
 Romania 1 1
 Scotland 1 1
  Switzerland 1 1
 Ukraine 1 1

Sponsors[edit]

UEFA national team competitions
UEFA Champions League

Note: The UEFA Champions League sponsors are also sponsors of the UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Youth League.

UEFA Europa League

Note: The UEFA Europa League sponsors are also sponsors of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

UEFA women's football competitions

FIFA World Rankings[edit]

Overview[edit]

Team of the Year[edit]