Union of European Football Associations

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative body for football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe.

It is one of six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA.

UEFA consists of 55 national association members.


UEFA represents the national football associations of Europe, runs nation and club competitions including the UEFA European Championship, UEFA Nations League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League, and UEFA Super Cup, and controls the prize money, regulations, and media rights to those competitions.


UEFA European Championship: The UEFA European Football Championship commonly referred to as the Euros, is the premier football tournament for European nations. Founded in 1958, it features 24 teams divided into 6 groups of 4.

The top 2 teams from each group secure a place into the last 16 (pre-quarters), which is when the tournament becomes a knockout competition. The remaining 4 slots are awarded to 4 teams that finished 3rd in their groups depending on total number of points. If equal, it is followed by goal difference, and then goals scored.

UEFA European Championship Qualifying: The European Qualifiers feature all the footballing nations recognized under the UEFA. Currently, there are 55 nations that can participate in the European Championship qualifiers. Teams are divided into 10 groups and the top 2 from each group secure their place in the Euros. 1 slot is secured automatically for the host nation. The other 3 slots are determined by a playoffs method basis the performances in the UEFA Nations League. The best performing teams that have already not secured a spot in the Championships are picked from this.

UEFA Nations League: Founded in 2018, the UEFA Nations League has replaced international friendlies and become an integral part of the footballing calendar for European nations. The concept of the UEFA Nations League would see all of UEFA’s member associations’ national teams divided into groups based upon a ranking formulated using their recent results, where they would be promoted and relegated to other groups basis their results.

Teams are divided into 4 divisions known as Leagues. Leagues A, B and C feature 16 teams each while League D features 7 teams. In Leagues A, B and C, there are 4 groups formed where teams would play each other home and away. League D has only 2 groups. Leagues A and B feature the 32 best footballing nations in Europe.

In the top league (League A), the winners of the 4 groups go on to play in the UEFA Nations League Finals. Each group winner from Leagues B, C and D, is promoted to the next division automatically. Each bottom placed side from the groups in Leagues A and B is relegated to the lower division. As for bottom placed teams in League C, they have to feature in play-outs to avoid relegation to League D.  Based on the Nations League ranking of the fourth-placed teams, the first-ranked team will face the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will face the third-ranked team. These games are two-legged ties (home and away) for determining the result. Whichever team comes out on top on aggregate over the two ties, is safe and secures their spot in League C.

FIFA World Cup European Qualifiers: The winner of each group in the European Championship directly qualifies for the World Cup (10 teams). The second round would feature the runners-up from these groups along with the two best Nations League group winners (based on the Nations League overall ranking) that finished outside the top two of their qualifying group. The play-offs will be split into three play-off paths, played in two single-match knockout rounds (semi-finals and finals, with the home teams to be drawn), from which an additional 3 teams will qualify to round up the European representation at the FIFA World Cup.


UEFA Champions League: The UEFA Champions League (abbreviated as UCL) is an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs, deciding the competition winners through a group and knockout format.

It is one of the most prestigious football tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champions (and, for some nations, one or more runners-up) of their national associations.

Introduced in 1955 as the Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens (French for European Champion Clubs’ Cup), and commonly known as the European Cup, it was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champions of Europe’s domestic leagues, with its winner reckoned as the European club champion. The competition took on its current name in 1992, adding a round-robin group stage in 1991 and allowing multiple entrants from certain countries since 1997.

It has since been expanded, and while most of Europe’s national leagues can still only enter their champion, the strongest leagues now provide up to four teams.

UEFA Europa League: The UEFA Europa League (abbreviated as UEL) is an annual football club competition organised by UEFA for eligible European football clubs.

Previously known as the UEFA Cup, it replaced the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1971. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions.

It is now the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League and above the UEFA Europa Conference League after being a third-tier competition from 1971 to 1999 before the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup was discontinued.

The competition has been known as the Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format.

The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and, since the 2014–15 season, the following season’s UEFA Champions League, entering at the group stage.

UEFA Europa Conference League: The UEFA Europa Conference League (abbreviated as UECL), colloquially referred to as UEFA Conference League, is a new annual football club competition held by UEFA for eligible European football clubs.

Clubs will qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions. It is the third tier of European club football, after the Champions League and the Europa League.

The competition is scheduled to run from the 2021–22 season, and will serve as the bottom level of the existing UEFA Europa League competition, which is due to be reduced from 48 to 32 teams in the group stage.

The competition will primarily be contested by teams from lower-ranked UEFA member associations. No teams will qualify directly to the group stage, with 10 eliminated teams in the Europa League play-offs and the rest coming from the Europa Conference League qualifiers.

The winners of the competition are awarded a position in the Europa League the following season unless they qualify for the Champions League, of course.

UEFA Super Cup: The UEFA Super Cup (abbreviated as USC) is an annual super cup football match organised by UEFA and contested by the reigning champions of the two main European club competitions – the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.

The competition’s official name was originally the European Super Cup. It was renamed the UEFA Super Cup before the 1995 edition, following a policy of rebranding by UEFA. It is not recognised as one of UEFA’s ‘major’ competitions.

From 1972 to 1999, the UEFA Super Cup was contested between the winners of the European Cup (UEFA Champions League) and the winners of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

After the discontinuation of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, it has been contested by the UEFA Champions League winners and UEFA Cup winners, which was renamed the UEFA Europa League in 2009.