Welcome to UEFA, the home of European football!

Most people know that we run some of the best football competitions in the world. But our work isn't limited to what happens on the pitch. In fact, we channel 97% of our net revenue back into developing the beautiful game.

From developing every aspect of the game to driving social and environmental impact, we believe that football can be a force for good – for every player, for every fan, for every community – for everybody.

"We must never forget how beautiful football is, how it stirs our emotions, how it keeps hundreds of millions of people on the edge of their seats, how football defines who we are. European football is a unique success story. It's a microcosm of our society. This is European football. Beautiful. Breathtaking."

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president

Our principles

The European sports model serves as the basis for organising our 16 club and national team competitions.

Everyone who loves football recognises the excitement, quality and prestige of UEFA’s competitions. Players dream of lifting our trophies. Fans are inspired by the iconic Champions League theme. Nations wait expectantly for kick-off. The tension is palpable.

But underneath the action lies a set of core principles that keep football at the top of its game. These principles are represented by the European sports model, which provides a pyramid structure for the organisation of sporting competitions, linking the grassroots game at the base to the elite competitions at the summit.

And at whatever the age group, format or pyramid level of our competitions — from the Youth League to the Champions League, from the European Women’s Under-17 Championship to the Women’s EURO — they are all rooted in these same core principles.

Did you know?

Our elite competitions fund 13 other men's and women's competitions: Women’s EURO and Champions League, European Under-21 Championship, men’s and women’s Futsal EUROs, Futsal Champions League, Youth League, men’s and women’s Under-17 and Under-19 championships, Under-19 Futsal Championship and the Regions’ Cup.

Running open competitions based on sporting merit

With qualification for UEFA competitions based purely on sporting merit, every player in every club and in every league can dream of playing in our European matches.

We also work to maximise and expand the number of European countries represented in our club competitions. For example, of the 78 clubs on the starting grid of our men’s competitions in 2022/23, three came from countries that were never previously represented at the group stage of a UEFA competition.

Evolving competition formats to maintain a competitive balance

From the Champions Leagues to the EUROs, we continue to evolve our competition formats to give players the best platform to showcase their skills and to increase overall competitiveness across the game. More excitement attracts more fans, which in turn increases the revenue that can be shared back with clubs and national associations to invest in the game's development.

Our revamp of the Women’s Champions League in 2021/22 provides a good example, with the the chance to watch the world’s best clubs and players go head to head leading to a 92% increase in the number of supporters attending matches.

Since its introduction in 2018, the men's Nations League has guaranteed associations more competitive matches for their national teams and more opportunities for player development.

Portugal were inaugural UEFA Nations League winners in 2019

Ensuring clear pathways for players to reach the top of the game

Our men’s and women’s Under-17 and Under-19 championships ensure there is a clear pathway to the top for talented players aspiring to a professional career. Young footballers have the opportunity to gain valuable international experience. Meanwhile, inspiring matches encourage more young people to take up the game and help to ensure that a continual pool of talent is developed.

"UEFA youth competitions are vital to the development of young female players. The impact can be seen with the senior national teams, with many of today’s most prominent players starting their international careers at women’s Under-17 level."

Anne Rei, chair of UEFA’s Women’s Football Committee and general secretary of the Estonian Football Association

Similarly, UEFA’s futsal competitions for club and national teams have bolstered its growth across Europe, leading more associations to make the game a key part of their national strategies and, consequently, creating new opportunities for futsal players.

Reinvesting competition revenue across the football pyramid

97% of the net revenue generated by UEFA club and national team competitions goes back into developing the game.

Our HatTrick development programme channels men's EURO income to all 55 national associations for investment in football development projects. By 2024, HatTrick had reinvested a cumulative €2.6 billion of EURO income to help associations build stadiums and training facilities, grow women’s football, run coach and referee courses, nurture young talent, strengthen governance, tackle discrimination and kick-start social responsibility initiatives.

The same principle applies to both our men’s and women’s club competitions, with ‘solidarity payments’ – a proportion of our net revenue – distributed to non-participating clubs to invest in youth football and player development.

Safeguarding the integrity and sustainability of UEFA competitions

As guardians of the European game, our club licensing and financial sustainability regulations are designed to protect the long-term integrity of European football. They apply to all clubs taking part in our competitions.

Since June 2022, our revised financial sustainability regulations oblige clubs to comply with criteria across three areas: solvency, stability and cost control. Club licensing measures stipulate that participating clubs must meet our standards on youth development, coaching, financial transparency and social responsibility.

In 2022, we also introduced the first-ever licensing regulations for the women’s game. These cover minimum standards for training facilities, enhanced support for youth and technical development, and increased numbers of mandatory youth teams and additional coaching staff.

"We must lead by example, advocating respect for human rights, diversity in representation and environmental sustainability."

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president

Leveraging sport to improve society

We recognise that football’s influence and popularity can be harnessed for good—and that the game has the potential to make an important contribution to wider society.

We work with all our member associations to ensure our competitions can help to make a difference off the pitch as well as on it, whether through public awareness campaigns, circular economy guidelines for our events, or educating young players about racism, sexism, homophobia and discrimination.

We also encourage and assist the associations hosting our competitions to leverage the revenue and visibility of the events in order to leave a positive legacy – both for the football community and for society as a whole.

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