Uefa Champions League biography
The Union of European Football Associations (French: Union des Associations Européennes de Football) is the administrative and controlling body for European football. It is almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA (usually pronounced /juːˈeɪfə/ ew-AY-fə).
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 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Israel, Cyprus, and Turkey (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.
UEFA is the biggest of six continental confederations of FIFA. Of all the confederations, it is by far the strongest in terms of wealth and influence at the club level. 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, Germany and France. Many of the world's strongest national sides are in UEFA. Of the 32 available spots in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, 13 were allocated to UEFA national teams, and currently 12 of the top 20 teams in the FIFA World Rankings are UEFA members.
UEFA was founded on 15 June 1954 in Basel, Switzerland following discussions between the French, Italian and Belgian FAs. The headquarters was in Paris until 1959 when the organization moved to Bern. Henri Delaunay was the first General Secretary and Ebbe Schwartz the president. Its administrative center has been in Nyon, Switzerland, since 1995. 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 national teams have won nine FIFA World Cups (Italy 4, Germany 3, England and France one trophy each), such as CONMEBOL national teams, and UEFA clubs have won 21 Intercontinental Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups, just one trophy less than CONMEBOL clubs.
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 President is Michel Platini.