Tel Aviv will be the 31st city to stage a UEFA Congress when it hosts the European football family on Thursday – emphasising the role that all of UEFA's 53 national associations play in ensuring the European game runs smoothly.
In his editorial column in the March edition of the official UEFA publication uefadirect, UEFA president Michel Platini says that in staging both the Congress and the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Tel Aviv, the Israel Football Association (IFA) will be able to show its profile as host and organiser.
"Since its earliest days, UEFA has chosen to vary the destinations of its congresses, visiting the countries of each of its member associations in turn," said the UEFA president. "Since 1955, 30 cities have thus hosted the general meeting of European football's governing body.
"From a purely operational perspective, it would, of course, be easier to bring together the delegates of the member associations in the same place each year," he added.
"But moving from one city to another has its own advantages: it enables the host associations to contribute actively to one of UEFA's biggest events and gives them an opportunity to demonstrate their organisational expertise, while raising their country's profile and prestige among the delegates of the other associations.
"For the delegates, these roaming congresses offer enriching cultural experiences, as well as opportunities to see the other associations at work."
UEFA Congresses now take place each year, given the ever-growing number of activities undertaken by the European body, and Mr Platini stressed the unifying factor involved in holding UEFA Congresses throughout the continent.
"Moving from one city to another also reflects the dynamic character of European football, ever ready to rise to new challenges and adapt to constant changes," he said. "It is also a means of reinforcing the unity of our confederation, by reminding our members that they all have a role to play and are all equally important to the smooth running of the organisation."
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