Does FIFA Own UEFA? – All You Need To Know

Confused about the hierarchy in the soccer world? You’re not alone. The relationship between FIFA, the global authority, and UEFA, Europe’s football titan, often raises eyebrows.

In this read, we’ll clarify this complex dynamic and give you the definitive answer you’ve been looking for.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick & short answer that’ll definitely help you out!

FIFA and UEFA are separate entities, each governing different aspects of soccer. FIFA is the global governing body, overseeing international competitions like the World Cup. UEFA, on the other hand, is responsible for soccer in Europe and organizes the Champions League. They collaborate but are financially and administratively independent.

The Relationship Between FIFA and UEFA

No, FIFA doesn’t possess UEFA, but each plays a crucial role in international football. Consider FIFA as the global administrative body for the sport. It is responsible for managing soccer across the globe and setting up tournaments like the World Cup.

On the other hand, UEFA is one of six continental confederations that FIFA recognizes. It primarily oversees European football, including top-tier events like the Champions League.

Their connection? It’s mutually beneficial. They operate independently but collaborate to enhance and regulate football on a global scale. It’s common to see them working jointly on decisions related to rules or tournament organization.

How FIFA and UEFA Operate

Isn’t it fascinating to understand the functioning of two significant football organizations? FIFA and UEFA, while interconnected, operate independently.

Their unique approach to managing matters contributes significantly to the progression and evolution of football on a global scale.

FIFA: The Federation Internationale de Football Association has a global reach. Its core responsibility includes managing reputable tournaments such as the World Cup, with their rules setting the international benchmarks.

UEFA: Keeping its focus primarily on Europe, the Union of European Football Associations organizes prominent competitions like the Champions League and Europa League.

Interaction: There are numerous instances where both entities cooperate on diverse projects and initiatives, the primary goal being the enhancement of football quality globally.

Competitions Organized by FIFA and UEFA

It’s crucial to recognize that both FIFA and UEFA organize numerous competitions that influence the football industry on a significant scale. These tournaments captivate a global audience, presenting the most proficient teams and players.

International TournamentWorld CupChampions League
Regional TournamentConfederations CupEuropean Championship (Euro)
Women’s TournamentWomen’s World CupWomen’s Champions League
Youth TournamentU-20 World CupU-21 European Championship

FIFA’s premier event is the universally inclusive World Cup, while UEFA targets Europe with its esteemed Champions League.

Regional competitions such as the Confederations Cup and Euro emphasize regional dominance. Both organizations promote women’s football and youth development via their respective tournaments.

This provides a thorough understanding of FIFA and UEFA’s contributions to football on both a global and regional scale.

Controversies and Scandals

Even though they’ve made considerable contributions to the realm of football, their reputations have been sullied due to involvement in numerous scandals and controversies. The public image of FIFA and UEFA has suffered severe damage as a result of accusations of corruption, bribery, and poor management.

Here are some notorious cases that have come to light:

  • The FIFA corruption case in 2015: Senior officials were charged with racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering.
  • The UEFA ‘Financial Fair Play’ controversy: Accusations of favoritism and inconsistency in the application of these rules were leveled against UEFA by clubs.
  • The recent Super League proposal: This resulted in a major divide between the leading clubs, FIFA, and UEFA.

These events underscore the ongoing struggle for transparency and fairness in these organizations. They serve as a reminder that even esteemed institutions can fail in the absence of appropriate governance.

Is UEFA Bigger than FIFA?

Both UEFA and FIFA hold significant positions in the sphere of football, but in the grand scheme of things, UEFA does not outsize its counterpart.

It could be assumed that given the dominance of European clubs on the global stage, UEFA may hold a more significant position. However, football isn’t just about club success.

FIFA, as a leading authority, has a more expansive jurisdiction. It supervises 211 national associations and is in charge of organizing the World Cup, the most esteemed tournament in football.

UEFA, in contrast, is one of six continental confederations under the aegis of FIFA, and solely governs football affairs in Europe.

Even though UEFA organizes high-profile competitions like the Champions League and the Euro Cup, it can’t compete with FIFA’s global influence.

Therefore, when we consider size and scope, FIFA holds a higher position than UEFA, at least at present.

Who Controls Football: FIFA or UEFA?

Now that you understand the comparative size between FIFA and UEFA, let’s discuss in more detail who actually controls football. It’s not as clear-cut as you might initially believe.

FIFA and UEFA are individual organizations, each with its own set of duties. However, they are linked in their management of global football. Here’s a succinct explanation:

  • FIFA: As the global governing entity for football, FIFA establishes universal regulations and standards. They are responsible for organizing international tournaments like the World Cup.
  • UEFA: This is the administrative body for football in Europe. It oversees European competitions such as Euro 2020 and Champions League.
  • Interconnectivity: While FIFA sets global rules, UEFA must comply with them in their operations but also maintains autonomy within its jurisdiction.

Grasping this relationship provides clarity on who controls different facets of the much-loved game.


Let’s clarify, they aren’t the same entity. FIFA doesn’t govern UEFA; they operate independently yet are interrelated.

Their influence? FIFA holds substantial sway on a global scale, while UEFA holds significant power in Europe.

Scandals? Oh yes, they’ve encountered their fair share. But let’s not forget, in the enthralling game of football, the essence isn’t just about who’s in control but how the sport is played and loved across the globe.

Manuel Esposito

Hello everyone! My name is Manuel and I've recently got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science at the University of Portsmouth. I'm raised and born in New York, and I've been a big fan of soccer my whole life. Soccer is the reason why I got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science, and my goal with this blog is to help you improve your soccer techniques, strategies, and knowledge!

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