Our Anti-Doping programme at Euro 2016 was a major success- UEFA Press Office

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Competitiveness at UEFA EURO 2016 has been very high and with Portugal the tournament saw a new winner and teams from smaller countries like Wales, Iceland, Northern Ireland were highly competitive and progressed far in the competition. (Image Credit: Gazprom)

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the governing body for football in Europe. It oversees and co-ordinates the development of the football in all its Member and affiliated countries and territories. We got in touch with the UEFA press office to know about the challenges, key strategies and monitoring system.

Recent challenges, upcoming goals and course of action…

Having elected a new UEFA President back in September in Athens, UEFA will focus on further protecting, promoting and developing football in Europe.

This goal can only be achieved by the excellent work of the administration and the unity of the European football family, which has been kept through a difficult period.

UEFA Football Development programmes, Coach Education, Working with National Association Programme, Grassroots, Grassroots Awards, International development tournaments, exchange programmes, Hat Trick Programme, Top Executive Programme, Academic and women’s football; their successes…

In all the fields you mention, UEFA’s supports domestic structures through constant mutual dialogue, sage advice, financial and other support, events, conferences and workshops bringing associations together for discussion and the exchange of ideas, and educational programmes which are an essential source of learning for the present and future.

These programmes have been very successful, even if the level of football development is very different across the national associations. UEFA is particularly proud of the progress made through the HatTrick assistance programme, which has had a positive impact on the development of European football by helping to strengthen the roots of the game across the continent. As the name suggests, the programme has been built on three pillars: investment funding, knowledge-sharing and sports education. All 55 UEFA member associations are enrolled into this programme.

UEFA fight against Doping, protect young players, medical sector in football, UEFA convention on Referee Education and Organization, UEFA Centre of Refereeing excellence; their successes…

In all the fields you mention UEFA has made a lot of progress in the past decades and years. For example, regarding UEFA’s fight against doping, we have signed agreements with 27 national organisations in Europe, strengthening UEFA’s efforts to create a network of coordination and information sharing across Europe.

UEFA worked closely with National Anti-Doping organisations of participating countries at UEFA EURO 2016. It was the largest-ever anti-doping programme conducted at a European Championship and it was a major success – none of the samples collected within the framework of the tournament’s testing programme were positive.

When it comes to match officials, UEFA has given young referees further support through the UEFA Centre of Refereeing Excellence (CORE) which is located in the premises of UEFA’s Headquarters in Switzerland. The central objective is to develop the technical skills and fitness of promising young referees and assistant referees who show the potential to become future international match officials. Promising women referees are also now part of the CORE activities.

Infrastructure, facilities & support system; countries working towards maintaining UEFA standards with regards to these…

Especially through the Hattrick Programme, UEFA supports all national associations to further develop their infrastructure. All associations are enrolled in this programme and all of them will benefit of Hattrick IV, which is covered by revenues of UEFA EURO 2016 (approx. 600 million Euro). This funding allows associations to build adequate facilities such as stadiums, mini-pitches, academies, headquarters and more.

Disciplinary proceedings & decision making…

UEFA match officials submit their reports within 24 hours after the game. The UEFA administration then reviews the reports and opens a case if there has been an incident which is in breach of regulations. Depending on the urgency and severity of the charge the administration then agrees on a date for the meeting of the independent Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB). At the meeting the CEDB takes a decision, which is then communicated to the respective parties. The length of the process can be as little as 3 days for urgent matters.

Competitiveness at UEFA events…

Competitiveness at UEFA EURO 2016 has been very high and with Portugal the tournament saw a new winner and teams from smaller countries like Wales, Iceland, Northern Ireland were highly competitive and progressed far in the competition. In the UEFA Champions League no team has so far managed to defend the title since the introduction of the group stage in 1992, whereas in the UEFA Europa League teams from a wide range of countries reach the later stages of the competition on a regular basis. We thus see an increase in competitiveness across Europe, especially when it comes to national team football. We regularly review the format of our competitions to ensure that the competitive balance remains high.

UEFA Elite Club Injury Study; injury prevention…

Thanks to the cooperation and support of clubs in UEFA’s elite competitions more is known about injury patterns at the elite level in football than any other major international sport, and through the individual reports, teams can benchmark their performance in injury prevention and management against those of other elite clubs. Clubs and in particular team doctors find such studies really useful when it comes to preventing player injuries and implementing appropriate treatments following injuries.

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