UEFA stands for The Union of European Football Associations. The Union of European Football Association is the controlling and administrative body for European football and at all times it is referred to by its acronym UEFA. This national football association runs throughout the various European national and club competitions, it also oversees the regulations, prize money and media rights to those competitions. UEFA owns several national football associations that are located most parts of Asia. These nations include Israel, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, all these nations are not apart of the Asian Football Confederation although Kazakhstan and Israel are former members.
Of the six continental confederations of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), UEFA is the largest and strongest financially and has a tremendous advantage and influence over the global game. Practically all of the world’s top footballers play in European leagues. The world’s wealthiest football clubs in Italy, Germany, England and Spain pay high salaries to these top players. As a matter of fact UEFA has the strongest national sides. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup UEFA was apportioned fourteen (14) spots for its national teams, of the thirty two (32) spots available. Presently of the top twenty (20) teams fourteen (14) are UEFA affiliates. UEFA was established in Switzerland on June 15, 1954 with its headquarters located in Paris then later Bern when the organization moved n 1959. The administrative center is located in Switzerland since 1995. Originally twenty five (25) national associations formed the UEFA in the early years that number has a little more than doubled in size with a current membership of fifty three (53) national associations.
There have been many disagreements with the European Commission. There have been television rights issues in the 1990s, and as it relates to international transfers. There was a 1995 ruling called the Bosman ruling wherein the European Court of Justice made a ruling on the free movement of labour and this impacted on the transfers of football players within the European Union (EU). A lot of adjustments had to be made as it relates to being in compliance with European law.
The UEFA European Football Championship which commenced sometime in 1958 was the most important competition for the men’s national teams. The first final was in 1960 and was called t European Nations Cup until 1964. There is also the Under 17, under 19 and under 21 national competitions that the UEFA endorses. UEFA also has a thriving women’s nation team. There is the UEFA Women’s Championship and the UEFA Women’s Under – 19 Championship for the senior and under 19 levels respectively. At the turn of 2008 an Under 17 side was established and dubbed UEFA Women’s Under 17 Championship.