UEFA – the Union of European Football Associations – is the governing body of European football. It is an association of associations, a representative democracy, and is the umbrella organisation for 55 national football associations across Europe. Its objectives are, among other things, to deal with all questions relating to European football, to promote football in a spirit of unity, solidarity, peace, understanding and fair play, without any discrimination on the part of politics, race, religion, gender or any other reason, to safeguard the values of European football, maintain relations with all stakeholders involved in European football, and support and safeguard its member associations for the overall well-being of the European game.
UEFA is a society entered in the register of companies under the Swiss civil code, and is neutral, politically and religiously. Its headquarters are located in Nyon, Switzerland. It is a continental confederation of the world football governing body FIFA, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland.
The organs through which UEFA acts are the UEFA Congress, the UEFA Executive Committee, the UEFA President and the organs for the administration of justice.
The UEFA Congress is UEFA's supreme controlling organ. An Ordinary UEFA Congress is held every year, and is attended by representatives of UEFA's 55 member national associations.
An Extraordinary UEFA Congress may be convened by the UEFA Executive Committee, or at the written request of one fifth or more of the UEFA member associations, stating the items to be placed on the agenda.
UEFA Executive Committee
The UEFA Executive Committee is UEFA's supreme executive body. It comprises the UEFA President and 16 other members, including at least one female, elected by a UEFA Congress.
The UEFA Executive Committee is empowered to adopt regulations and make decisions on all matters which do not fall within the legal or statutory jurisdiction of the UEFA Congress or another organ. The UEFA Executive Committee manages UEFA, except to the extent that it has delegated such management, or unless such management has been delegated by the UEFA Statutes to the UEFA President or the UEFA administration.
UEFA Emergency Panel
The Emergency Panel is composed of five members of the duly elected UEFA Executive Committee – the UEFA President; the first UEFA vice-president; the UEFA vice-president chairing the Finance Committee, and two other members of the UEFA Executive Committee appointed by the UEFA President on a case-by-case basis. Between meetings of the UEFA Executive Committee, the Emergency Panel is authorised to take and execute final decisions on urgent matters that fall under the authority of the UEFA Executive Committee.
The UEFA President represents UEFA and chairs the UEFA Congress, as well as meetings of the UEFA Executive Committee. In the event of a tie in any vote, the UEFA President has the casting vote.
In carrying out these responsibilities, the UEFA President consults with the UEFA Executive Committee. The UEFA President is elected for a four-year term by the UEFA member associations at the UEFA Congress.
Organs for the Administration of Justice
The Organs for the Administration of Justice act as UEFA's disciplinary bodies, i.e. the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body and the Appeals Body; Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors and the two-chamber Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).
The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is the first disciplinary instance. The Appeals Body has jurisdiction to hear appeals against decisions of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, and to rule on particularly urgent cases referred to it directly by the chairman of the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body. Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors represent UEFA in proceedings before the disciplinary bodies. They may open disciplinary investigations, lodge appeals against decisions by the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, and support UEFA in the event that a party lodges an appeal against a decision by the Appeals Body before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The UEFA Executive Committee, the UEFA President, the UEFA General Secretary or the disciplinary bodies may also commission disciplinary inspectors to conduct investigations alone or in cooperation with other UEFA or non-UEFA bodies.
Disputes between UEFA and associations, leagues, clubs, players and officials, or disputes of a European dimension between the same, may also be dealt with by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC)
The UEFA Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC) is composed of four UEFA vice-presidents (i.e. all but the vice-president chairing the Finance Committee), who represent the interests of UEFA's member associations as well as the general interests of UEFA as European football governing body; four representatives elected for a two-year term by the group recognised by UEFA as representing the interests of the European professional football leagues (i.e. the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL)); four representatives elected for a two-year term by the group recognised by UEFA as representing the interests of the clubs participating in the UEFA competitions (i.e. the European Club Association (ECA)); and four representatives elected for a two-year term by the players' union recognised by UEFA as representing the interests of professional players in Europe (i.e. FIFPro Division Europe).
Committees and panels
Nineteen committees and six expert panels are involved in shaping UEFA's policy across the broad palette of European football. The committees discuss issues ranging from medical matters and players' status/transfers to refereeing, finance and the UEFA competitions, and submit advice, proposals and recommendations to the UEFA Executive Committee, which may also delegate some of its duties to a committee. UEFA committees and expert panels have an advisory function, unless the UEFA Executive Committee grants them decision-making powers.
Honorary President and honorary members
UEFA may, on the proposal of the UEFA Executive Committee, bestow the status of honorary president or honorary membership upon a person for especially meritorious services to European football.
Honorary presidents may attend the UEFA Congress and UEFA Executive Committee meetings in an advisory capacity, but have no vote. Honorary members may attend the Congress in an advisory capacity, but have no vote.
UEFA's business and administrative affairs are run by the UEFA administration at the body's headquarters, the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland. The UEFA General Secretary is responsible for the organisation, management and direction of the administration, and is appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee. The UEFA General Secretary is employed by UEFA.