Over the years a number of football associations affiliated with the UK have been established. Their main purpose is to govern the sport on a national level by establishing game rules. They also set up and supervise matches between different teams. Sometimes this can take the form of tournaments. These organisations can focus on amateur or professional clubs. Larger associations govern both types.
The Football Association
This is the world’s oldest football association and has been around since 1863. Its jurisdictions include England, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. The FA oversees all aspects of amateur and pro football games in these territories. Their most famous competition is the FA Cup, which attracts international media attention. They also organise numerous smaller tournaments and matches on local levels. The management for men’s, women’s and children’s football teams are dictated by the FA.
This football association is affiliated with some of the largest sports organisations in the world. This includes UEFA, FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB). This ensures that there is cooperation between the FA and bodies responsible for international rules of the game. The FA is based primarily at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
The Scottish Football Association
The SFA has control over competitive football within Scotland. National and local affiliations fall under their jurisdiction. It was first formed in 1873. This makes the SFA the oldest football association ever after the FA. It is sometimes confused with another entity called the Scottish Football Union. This is because the SFA had this name until the 1920s.
The Scottish Football Association works alongside the International Football Association Board. The latter is responsible for spreading modern football standards and rules. The SFA is headquartered at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The Scottish Football Museum can also be found here. Every year this organisation is responsible for the Scottish Cup. League teams from across the country take part in this event. It is the biggest tournament in Scotland’s football calendar.
Football Association Of Wales
The FAW has the same basic function as its Scottish counterpart. It has a mainly administrative role for Welsh football. Several international teams are currently run by the FAW. These include the main “A” team, under 21s, under 19s, female, female under 17s, female under 19s and semi-professionals. The FAW also dictates the disciplinary actions that can be taken by teams against offending players. However, the jurisdiction of the FAW is complicated and occasionally overlaps with the English FA. Therefore cooperation between the two prevents issues arising.
Neptune Court in Cardiff is the home of the Football Association of Wales. Nineteen elected or appointed councillors make decisions for this organisation. Every three years, new elections take place. Millions of pounds are funded into the FAW from grants by FIFA and UEFA as well as revenue from sponsorships.
Irish Football Association
Established in 1880, the IFA was formed by seven Belfast based clubs. Eventually, its influence spread to the point where it controlled football regulations for all of Ireland. Originally it followed the same rules as the Scottish Football Association. The first decision of the IFA was to set up a national football tournament. This became the Irish Cup and it has existed ever since. In 1921 due to the partition of Ireland, a rival organisation was established called the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). The jurisdiction of the IFA was decreased as a result.
For a time both associations claimed that they governed the whole of Ireland. However, during the 1950s the IFA established its jurisdiction as being solely Northern Ireland. The FAI focuses on the south.