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Football Governing Bodies

The Football Association (The FA)

The FA is the worlds oldest national governing body, and as responsible for all aspects of football, both professional and amateur, in England. It was founded in 1863, and is a member of FIFA and UEFA.

The sport of football was played for centuries before the creation of any governing bodies, but with no standardised rules. Different variations on the game were played in different places, and so it was difficult for teams used to playing varying rules to play each other.

This led to the creation of 'The Football Association' - which introduced accepted formalised rules. That said, the rules for football are now controlled by the 'international football association board' (IFAB), which is comprised by members of each of the associations in the UK and representatives from FIFA.

The FA were also responsible for the creation of 'The FA Cup' - which is the oldest competition in association football in the world.

Featuring prominently in the remit of the FA is control over England internationals, and team management. The FA also owns, and is based at, Wembley Stadium, in London.



The 'Fédération Internationale de Football Association' (FIFA) is the world governing body of association football. It was founded in 1904, and is based in Zurich, Switzerland. It is currently comprised of 208 member national associations.

With an increase in the number of international fixtures in the early 20th century it became evident that a world governing body was required. This came in 1904 in the form of FIFA. The founding members were Belgium, Denmark, France, Holland, Spain, Sweden & Switzerland. Membership quickly grew with the associations of England & Germany soon joining, and in 1908 membership first extended beyone Europe.

One of the main responsibilities of FIFA is the 'World Cup'. This is the world football showpiece, and is held every four years.

FIFA members are divided into 1 of 6 confederations responsible for the game in different regions of the world. These are:

  • AFC - Asian Football Confederation
  • CAF - Confederation of African Football
  • CONCACAF - Confederation of North, Central American & Caribbean Association Football
  • CONMEBOL - South American Football Confederation
  • OFC - Oceania Football Confederation
  • UEFA - Union of European Football Associations


The 'Union of European Football Associations' (UEFA) is the administrative body for association football in Europe. It was formed in 1954, and is based in Nyon, Switzerland. It is made up of 53 national association members.

UEFA is by far the biggest of the confederations of FIFA, particularly in terms of money and influence.


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