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UEFA Direct 200 – Protecting football's core values

Defending European football’s future – a key UEFA objective highlighted by President Aleksander Čeferin in the latest edition of UEFA Direct.

Writing in UEFA’s official magazine – celebrating its 200th edition – Mr Čeferin pledges a reinforced campaign in 2023 to safeguard and nurture the game’s overall well-being in cooperation with other football stakeholders.

Read UEFA Direct 200 in English

Earlier this month, the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) Athanasios Rantos issued an unequivocal Opinion recommending a ruling in support of UEFA’s central mission to govern European football, protect the pyramid and develop the game across Europe.

Fostering football’s health

The UEFA President underlines in UEFA Direct how UEFA and the European football community have “striven tirelessly to protect and promote the core values of the sports model that lies at the heart of our game.”

“First and foremost,” he explains, “that includes open competitions based on sporting merit, financial solidarity between the top and bottom of football’s pyramid structure and recognition of the game’s wider role in society.”

“I would like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who has stood together with UEFA to defend the European sports model,” the UEFA President concludes. “Your support will inspire us in 2023, as we redouble our efforts to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for football in Europe.”

Tending the grassroots

Grassroots football and its vital importance for football’s future also takes pride of place in the latest edition.

The recent UEFA Grassroots Conference in Madrid focused in particular on the development of grassroots clubs and how to use flexible formats to create the best playing environments for everyone wanting to take part in the game.

UEFA Direct reports in detail on the conference and its outcome. In a wide-ranging interview, former Republic of Ireland international Robbie Keane – an on-stage guest in Madrid – talks about his grassroots experiences and emphasises football’s power as a catalyst to bring people together.

Sarina Wiegman – masterminding England’s Women’s EURO 2022 triumph

Memories of the summer’s record-breaking UEFA Women’s EURO continue to warm hearts this winter. UEFA Direct reviews October’s UEFA Women’s National Team Coaches’ Conference in England – which examined tactical and technical trends at the tournament – with the spotlight falling on Sarina Wiegman, the Dutch coach who led England to the country’s first major international title in 56 years.

Wiegman, who also won the previous Women’s EURO with the Netherlands in 2017, reflects on the solid foundations and close bonds that were built to create England’s victorious team and inspire a nation.

Staying with women’s football, a major task now facing UEFA and its national associations is to ensure that the EURO leaves a lasting legacy, while at the same time maintaining the impressive forward momentum currently enjoyed by the women’s game.

UEFA Direct shows how proactive work is ongoing across Europe not only to sustain this growth, but also to give it even fresher impetus.

Elsewhere in UEFA Direct 200

UEFA EURO 2024: Frankfurt hosts a qualifying draw to whet the appetite

UEFA’s ASSIST programme: Five years of helping football to develop across the world

The UEFA Executive Master for International Players: Preparing former footballers for a second career

Futsal Fever: Reviews of the UEFA/CONMEBOL Futsal Finalissima and UEFA Under-19 Futsal EURO

UEFA member associations: News and views from across Europe

Since its launch in April 2002, UEFA Direct has showcased European football’s most powerful stories – and remains essential reading for those who follow UEFA and the beautiful game on this continent.

UEFA Direct is also available to read in French and German