UEFA – Union of European Football Associations

Introduction: Background and History
Confederation name: Union of European Football Associations
Acronym: UEFA
Established date: 15 June 1954 A.D
Date of first congress: 2 March 1955
Headquarter: Nyon, Switzerland
First General Secretary: Henri Delaunay
First President: Ebbe Schwartz
Headquarter(s): Paris, France (1954 – 1959)
Bern, Switzerland (1959 – 1995)
Nyon, Switzerland (1995 onwards)
Headquarter of UEFA at Nyon, Switzerland

UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations is one of the six continental football federations. Among the six confederations that are part of FIFA, UEFA stands as the wealthiest one. It certainly has the strongest influence on football all over the world as World’s top players play for the European power houses. UEFA was established with the common task to oversee and organize league and national team competitions in European region. This continental football federation was formed as the result of the discussion of Italian, French and Belgian football associations hosted by Switzerland in Basel, Switzerland. Hence, UEFA started its top journey from June 15, 1954 with the governing body consisting Henri Delaunay to stand as the first General Secretary and Ebbe Schwartz as the first president. UEFA had it’s headquarter located in Paris until 1959 when it moved to Bern and then finally to Nyon, Switzerland in 1995. UEFA has been organizing various leagues and tournament for both men and women. It organizes both nation’s competitions as well nation wide and continent wide club competitions. It organizes various prestigious competitions like UEFA Champion’s League, Euro Cup, UEFA Cup etc. These leagues and tournament’s growing popularity is certainly making this confederation stronger and influencing than ever.

UEFA began with just 3 full time staffs which have increased to 340 people of more than 29 different nationalities. UEFA employs administrators, secretaries, IT specialist, coaches, journalists, translators at its administrative HQ. This shows that UEFA certainly is the top confederation. It has been able to tune itself into a dynamic organization to cope with the vast requirements of the modern-day football. UEFA had 23 member associations in the beginning; there are now 53 associations under UEFA.

UEFA Executive Committee:

An executive committee governs UEFA. The executive committee of UEFA comprises of UEFA president and 15 other members elected by UEFA congress. The Executive Committee does not include more than one member from the same member association. The committee does the work of making decisions on all matters which do not fall within the legal or statutory jurisdiction of the UEFA Congress or another organ. It manages UEFA. It has several duties like overall control of UEFA and the issuing of necessary instructions, definition of organizational structure etc.

The Executive Committee also appoints general secretary who keeps the responsibility of organization management and direction of the UEFA administration.

President: Michel Platini
Vice Presidents: Senes Erzik
Ángel María Villar Llona
Giancarlo Abete
Geoffrey Thompson
Marios N Lefkaritis
Members: Sergey Fursenko
Allah Hansen
Avraham Luzon
Mircea Sandu
Michael van Praag
Dr Theo Zwanziger
Grigoriy Surkis
Borislav Mihaylov
František Laurinec
Peter Gilliéron
General Secretary: Gianni Infantino

Member nations:

The confederation was established with the initial membership 25 national associations but the present number of members is 53. The number gradually increased after 1990, Soviet Union broke into various states and became USSR. The 53 member nations along with their IOC code have been listed below.

Albania (ALB)
Andorra (AND)
Armenia (ARM)
Austria (AUT)
Azerbaijan (AZE)
Belarus (BLR)
Belgium (BEL)
Bosnia Herzegovina (BIH)
Bulgaria (BUL)
Croatia (CRO)
Cyprus (CYP)
Czech Republic (CZE)
Denmark (DEN)
England (ENG)
Estonia (EST)
Faroe Island (FRO)
Finland (FIN)
france (FRA)
Fyr Macedonia (MKD)
GEORGIA (GEO)
GERMANY (GER)
GREECE (GRE)
HUNGARY (HUN)
ICELAND (ISL)
ISRAEL (ISR)
ITALY (ITA)
KAZAKHSTAN (KAZ)
LATVIA (LVA)
LIECHTENSTEIN (LIE)
LITHUANIA (LTU)
LUXEMBOURG (LUX)
MALTA (MLT)
MOLDOVA (MDA)
MONTENEGRO (MNE)
NETHERLAND (NED)
NORTHERN IRELAND (NIR)
NORWAY (NOR)
POLAND (POL)
PORTUGAL (POR)
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (IRL)
ROMANIA (ROU)
RUSSIA (RUS)
SAN MARINO (SMR)
SCOTLAND (SCO)
SERBIA (SRB)
SLOVAKIA (SVK)
SLOVENIA (SVN)
SPAIN (ESP)
SWEDEN (SWE)
SWITZERLAND (SUI)
TURKEY (TUR)
UKRAINE (UKR)
WALES (WAL)

Chelsea Set to Dominate European Football

There is a new heavyweight force in European football, they are being bankrolled seemingly by the Russian economy, they mean business, and their name is Chelsea F.C. Chelsea Football Club have always been a decent club in the second strata of English clubs. In London alone Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have invariably been ahead of the Chelsea Blues, even West Ham have often put Chelsea in the shade. But no longer, for in the season 2004-2005, Chelsea won the English Premier League title for the first time in fifty years, their only previous winning season.

But they haven’t stopped there, in the new season 2005-2006 they are already well clear in the title race leaving all their rivals gasping, and now they have set their sights on the pinnacle of all the club trophys, the European Champions League. Chelsea have never won the Champions League, indeed no London club ever has. And it is clear that their charismatic manager Jose Mourinho is intent on winning the Champions League again, he did so with his previous club Porto, of Portugal.

So what of the traditional English giants? Manchester United, often described as the world’s richest football club, have fallen into the hands of the Glazer family of Tampa Bay fame, but they reportedly needed to borrow half a billion pounds to buy United, a debt the club now shoulders. Spending on new players has so far been thin on the ground and United’s brusque Glaswegian manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has admitted that United, for so long England’s most successful club, cannot compete with Chelsea when it comes to buying players. The hordes of United fans are not amused, the natives are growing restless.

Arsenal, London’s biggest and most successful club, lost their skipper and driving force Patrick Vieira last summer, he moved to Juventus in Italy for £12 million pounds and with their star striker Thierry Henry suffering fitness problems, they picked up some uncharacteristic defeats at unfashionable clubs like West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough. This is their last season at their famous old Highbury Stadium before they move to their new purpose built Emirates stadium almost next door. The increased capacity of 60,000 will undoubtedly give their French manager Arsene Wenger more money to spend next year, but of course they have to pay for that new ground too. Far from challenging Chelsea again, it would seem that Arsenal are more likely to fall further behind.

That leaves Liverpool and Newcastle. News comes through just today that the American Kraft Company and family are interested in investing in Liverpool F.C., perhaps even buying the club outright just like Manchester United fifty miles up the road, but that is some way down the line. And they too are seeking to build a brand new stadium on Stanley Park and of course that all costs big money. Despite last year’s freakish win in the Champion’s League, Liverpool’s league form this season has again been patchy, and that included a 4-1 walloping by Chelsea on their own Anfield pitch. The idea that Liverpool might challenge Chelsea for the title remains a far-fetched one. Newcastle, England’s second best supported club are gradually improving, and they have signed England’s centre forward Michael Owen, but they still remain unconvincing at the top level. They haven’t won the title since Noah was seen building his ark, or so it seems, and they aren’t going to do so this season either.

So though it is very popular for foreign investors to snap up the leading English (and Scottish) football clubs, it appears that only Roman Abramovich at Chelsea has the financial muscle to buy the best players around. He is the only one to put unlimited funds on the table. Top class players now command a transfer fee of £40 million each and whereas Manchester United might afford one of them a season, Chelsea’s purse seems bottomless. They have already spent £220+ million and are still in the market to buy again when the transfer window re-opens in January.

They have already achieved success by winning at home, now the European Champion’s League is the Holy Grail for them, a trophy they are now the outright favourites to win with the odds layers. And astonishingly they have achieved their success to date with an array of strikers who haven’t really cut the mustard. Mutu the Romanian, was promptly sacked for drug taking, Crespo the Argentinian, was sent out to Milan on loan last season, and though he is back now he is hardly setting the world afire,or even playing that often, Gudjohnson an Icelander, plays more often than not, the muscular Drogba from the Ivory Coast, seems to have finally claimed the number nine shirt as his own, yet many blues followers still remain unconvinced about him, so it would seem likely that Chelsea may yet be looking for another proven goal scorer come January, especially after a recent rare defeat at Manchester United.

It would take a brave man to back against Chelsea in any competition at the moment. But if you’d like to, you can still have a free $30 dollar bet at Betfair.com by entering the code 6CHE3VPWJ when prompted. But one thing is for sure; no one would be surprised if this time next year the Premier League trophy AND the Champions League trophy were both on display in the Chelsea boardroom. It seems that only the Italian giants Milan and Juventus, and the Spanish top two, Real Madrid, and most especially Barcelona with their Brazilian superstar, surely soon to be the world player of the year, Ronaldinho, might stop the London blues. It really does seem as if we have entered a new era in European and world football, or if you prefer the ridiculous name that no one ever uses, Soccer. Chelsea fans have never had it so good while everyone else is left gasping in their wake, for it is a fact that Chelsea Football Club have raised the bar for everyone else to follow. Time will tell if anyone can.

American Football vs European Football

American football is usually confused with European football. The difference between the two is greatly, but the same use of title can confuse others. The difference between American and European football is simple by definition. Football is used mostly with the hands to control the ball, and the European football is what most people call Soccer. In soccer, you kick the ball and they not allowed using their hands at all. By definition, football is when 11 players on a rectangular field 100 yards long. Teams try to steal/keep possession of the ball and move across the field to the other team’s goal line by running a series of plays. European football or soccer is a game played with a round ball (not diamond shaped like American football).

Again, two teams of eleven players user their body to control the ball to pass the opponent’s goal line. Soccer is played dominantly with the feet, but can be controlled by other parts of the body like knees, chest, and head. They can use any part of their body by their arms and hands. If they do use the hands, a foul is called the other team gets control of the situation. They only people who are allowed to use their hands are the goalkeepers.

Many soccer games are played on football fields. They are set up the same way except instead of having a huge goal post, they use two goal nets (much like hockey). The games are in quarters that are times. There are four quarters per game and a half time. Usually there are only a minute or two pauses between quarters and the half time is much longer. Soccer games usually do not take as much time as soccer, because there are fewer rules to soccer.

Football is a complicated sport that has flags and penalties for, what seems everything. In soccer, penalties are called but mostly for being offsides or out of bounds. Sportsmanship is a problem in both sports. The two sports are very competitive and can be frustrating to the players. Even though you aren’t allowed to tackle a player purposely in soccer, some players do tend to collide and when they do, they hit hard.

Soccer and football are much alike in some aspects, but are completely different in others. Either way you look at it, the two sports are just as aggressive and competitive and can be very enjoyable to watch and play.