There are multiple international federations in football. And these federations organise multiple international tournaments and leagues. Let’s dive into the biggest federations and international leagues.
Every continent has its Confederation, which is part of FIFA. Let’s take a look at what we are dealing with exactly.
AFC is the Asian Football Confederation with 46 members and one associate. AFC was founded in 1954. The main tournament in Asia is the AFC Asian Cup. Qatar is the current champion of the Asian Cup. It is being held every four years. Japan is the record champion with four titles.
CAF is short for Confédération Africaine de Football and included 54 members plus 2 associates. The CAF was founded in 1957. The most important tournament is the African Cup of Nations. Senegal won the 2022 edition of this international tournament after penalties against Egypt. The contest takes place every two years. Egypt is the record champion with seven titles.
CONCACAF is the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. It has 35 members and six associates. The association was founded in 1961. The main tournament is the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The United States is the current champion. This tournament is being held every two years. Mexico is the record champion with eight titles, followed by the United States with seven titles.
CONMEBOL is the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol which has 10 members and was founded in 1916. The main tournament is the Copa América, the oldest continental football league. The Copa is a quadrennial event, which is held every four years. Messi’s Argentina is the reigning champion of Copa America. Uruguay and Argentina are the record champions with 15 titles.
OFC is the Oceania Football Confederation which has 11 members and three associates. It was founded in 1966. The OFC Nations Cup is the main tournament in the continent. New Zealand is the current champion of the OFC Nations Cup, held every two years. The record champion is New Zealand as well, with five titles.
UEFA is short for the Union of European Football Associations and has 55 members. The association was founded in 1954 and organizes the UEFA European Championship, also known as UEFA Euro. Italy is the current winner after winning the EURO2020 in 2021. Germany and Spain are the record champions with three titles. The UEFA organizes the Nations League as well.
Every continent has a continental tournament for clubs as well. International football is not only about countries playing each other.
The AFC Champions League is a league for Asian and Australian teams. The countries do have to meet specific criteria to be allowed to take part. The popularity of the competition is one of these criteria. However, there are many more, like media, infrastructure, the strength of the country, the number of international referees, the number of stadiums and marketing.
The weaker countries can participate in the AFC Cup, and for even weaker countries, there is the AFC President’s Cup. If countries do not meet the lowest criteria, they cannot send any clubs to the international tournaments.
The CAF has multiple tournaments, the CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup and the CAF Super Cup. CONMEBOL organizes the Libertadores, Sudamericana and Recopa. Which are the equivalents of the contests of the UEFA. The UEFA has the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and the Conference League for clubs. Besides that, the Champions League and Europa League winners will battle each other in the Super Cup.
The CONCACAF organizes a Champions League, the CFU Club Championship and the CONCACAF League. Oceania Football Confederation has an equivalent of the Champions Leagues mentioned at the other associations.
All Champions League winners will participate in the World Cup for clubs. Last nine years, the European teams were able to become World Champions. The current champion is Chelsea, while the record champion is Real Madrid with four titles, followed by FC Barcelona with three titles. Corinthians and Bayern München both have two titles to complete the top 3.