Major footballing organisations in the UK and Worldwide


The Football Association

The English FA was set up in 1863 and governs the game and all its leagues in England, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The current president is Prince William and the body itself is actually officially known as the Football Association, although it has been a member of FIFA since 1905 and a member of UEFA since 1954.

The FA is also responsible for the England national football team, and subsequently generates considerable turnover each year (£206.1 million in 2004). The key figures in the organisation are the Chief Executive and the Chairman, who liaise with and assist in appointing the England team’s manager.

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)

Formed at a meeting on 15th June 1954 in Basel, Switzerland, UEFA was initially composed of just 25 national associations but now has 53 members. It is one of the six FIFA continental organisations and is by far the richest due to its governance of all European-wide club and international competitions; including the Champions League, the UEFA Cup, the European Championships, the UEFA Super Cup, the European-South American Cup, the UEFA Intertoto Cup and the UEFA Women’s Cup.

The headquarters of UEFA are today located in Nyon, Switzerland. The President possesses a huge amount of influence in world football, ahd his/her election is a major event.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

Founded in Paris on May 21st 1904, FIFA is the chief governing body in world football. Initially confined to European national associations, it quickly expanded worldwide and is now made up of 207 domestic FAs, with its headquarters located in Zurich, Switzerland.

Although FIFA members are national associations, as a way of monitoring world football affairs on a larger scale, FIFA operates through six confederations (which, in turn, operate on a continental level):

  • Asian Football Confederation (AFC) (Asia)
  • Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) (Africa)
  • Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) (North America)
  • Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) (South America)
  • Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) (Australia)
  • Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) (Europe)

One of FIFA’s chief responsibilities is organising the World Cup. Its other interest in international football is the Confederations Cup, which takes place every four years between the winners of the six confederation championships, the host country and the World Cup winners. There are a number of lesser trophies organised by FIFA as well, such as the FIFA Club World Cup (the leading clubs from the six confederations play one another annually), the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and the FIFA Futsal World Championship (indoor football). FIFA is also responsible for the FIFA World Player of the Year ceremony, which unsurprisingly honours the best player in world football.

FIFA’s motto is ‘for the good of the game’, but a major debating point (as with any domestic FA and UEFA) in recent years has been FIFA’s financial interest in football. The establishment of the Club World Cup and Confederations Cup were met with some consternation due to fixture congestion for clubs and national sides, particularly with the profits predominantly going to FIFA. Indeed, between 2003 and 2006, FIFA announced $1.64 billion worth of revenue, with a $144 million profit. As a result, major FIFA directives, emanating from the President by and large, are watched with some concern by clubs and football associations alike.