The Union of European Football Associations, or in French, Union des Associations Européennes de Football, almost always referred to by the abbreviation UEFA, is the administrative and controlling body for European football. It represents the national football associations of Europe, running nine national and four club competitions in Europe, controlling the prize-money, regulations and media rights to those competitions. It is one of the six continental confederations of FIFA.
UEFA was founded on June 15, 1954 in Basel, Switzerland following discussions between the French, Italian and Belgian FAs. The headquarters was in Paris until 1959 when the organisation moved to Bern. Henri Delaunay was the first General Secretary and Ebbe Schwartz the president. Its administrative centre since 1995 is in Nyon, Switzerland. It was initially made up of twenty-five national associations, currently there are 51 associations.
The main competitions that UEFA controls are the European Champion Clubs' Cup (from 1992 the UEFA Champions League), which was founded in April 1955; the UEFA Cup (initially called the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and not under full UEFA control until 1971), also founded in April 1955, and the European Football Championship (the European Nations' Cup until the 1968 competition), started in 1958. The Cup Winners' Cup started in 1960 and was abolished in favour of an expanded UEFA Cup in 1999. The UEFA Super Cup, the European Champions against the winners of the Cup Winners' Cup (later the UEFA Cup), came into being in 1973.
UEFA General Secretaries: (called Chief Executive since December 1999) Henri Delaunay; Pierre Delaunay; Hans Bangerter (1960 - 1989); Gerhard Aigner.
UEFA Presidents: Ebbe Schwartz; Gustav Wiederkehr; Artemio Franchi; Jacques Georges; Lennart Johansson.
UEFA, as a representative of the national associations, has had a number of bruising clashes with the EU. In the 1990s the issues of television rights and especially international transfers (the Bosman ruling) have had to undergo some major changes to remain in line with European law.