UEFA Profile

World football is centrally governed by FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. This massively powerful organisation is subdivided into several regional football associations covering Asia, Africa, Central and North America, South America and Europe.

Of these various subsidiary FIFA federations, the Union of European Football Associations or UEFA is easily the wealthiest and most powerful. UEFA controls and regulates the game of football across 53 countries in Europe, including the richest leagues in world football.

UEFA Mandate

UEFA is responsible for dealing with a number of pan-European issues relating to the governance, rules, sponsorship and public broadcasting of football matches on the continent. UEFA’s primary tasks include enforcing the rules and regulations of football within Europe whilst also being responsible for organising and marketing competitions such as the UEFA Cup and Champions League.

As part of the broader FIFA structure UEFA is also expected to introduce relevant rule and format changes when appropriate whilst ensuring European uniformity with international football rules. The massive business of football within Europe has resulted in confrontations between UEFA and the European Union in the past; highlighting the fact that UEFA is a significant political force in its own right.

UEFA History

The formation of UEFA is virtually inseparable from the inception of the major European club competitions such as the Inter Cities Fairs Cup and the European Champions Club Cup in the mid 1950s. Both tournaments were set up within a year of the founding of UEFA in Basel, Switzerland in 1954.

UEFA first consisted of 25 member nations, but has expanded to include 53 football associations over the last five decades. The growth of UEFA has been a joint product of evolving broadcast infrastructure and the growth in the number and quality of competitions between European clubs.

At present UEFA organises dozens of football competitions across Europe for all ages and genders. The most prestigious tournaments organised by UEFA are the European Championships (more commonly known as the ‘Euro’ tournaments), the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the Intertoto Cup.

UEFA League and Nation Table

The key to organising the UEFA’s various European football tournaments is the UEFA table. The UEFA coefficients table is used to calculate seeding for Europe’s national teams, leagues and clubs. The seedings are then used to determine club or national access to European competitions.