Aleksander Čeferin (born 13 October 1967) is a Slovenian lawyer and football administrator. Between 2011 and 2016, he was President of the Football Association of Slovenia. Since 14 September 2016, he has been the President of UEFA.
|7th President of UEFA|
|Assumed office |
14 September 2016
|Preceded by||Ángel María Villar (Acting)|
|Born||13 October 1967|
Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Relations||Peter Čeferin (father)|
|Alma mater||University of Ljubljana|
After graduating from Ljubljana University's law faculty, Čeferin went to work for his family's law firm, developing a special interest in representing professional athletes and sports clubs. He later took over from his father as company director.
Čeferin took a formal interest in local football in 2005 through his work with the executive board of futsal club FC Litija. A member of the executive committee of amateur side FC Ljubljana Lawyers since 2005, he served as a member at NK Olimpija Ljubljana from 2006 to 2011.
On 14 September 2016, Aleksander Čeferin was elected the seventh President of UEFA, automatically becoming vice-president of FIFA in the process. He polled 42 votes at UEFA's Congress in Athens, beating Dutchman Michael van Praag who received 13 votes.
Čeferin's presidential manifesto and campaign centred on the need for UEFA to adopt good governance reforms and his proposals were approved in April 2017 by the 41st UEFA Ordinary Congress in Helsinki. These reforms included the introduction of term limits for UEFA presidents and UEFA Executive Committee members and the provison that Executive Committee candidates must hold an active office (president, vice-president, general secretary or CEO) with their national association.
Other Statutory changes approved at this congress in Helsinki included the strengthening of the UEFA Governance and Compliance Committee with two additional independent members and the granting of two full member positions on the UEFA Executive Committee to representatives of the European Club Association (ECA).  A representative of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) was later also added to the UEFA Executive Committee in February of 2018 at the 42nd UEFA Congress in Bratislava.
One of Čeferin’s initial priorities was to work on ways to improve competitive balance in European Football and to reduce the gap between the elite clubs and the rest. A series of meetings were held at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon with key stakeholders to align on a strategy and to explore options available.
Čeferin pledged to strengthen the UEFA financial fair play measures put in place in 2009 and indeed supervised amendments to the regulations for the new competition cycle 2018-21. Thanks to FFP, European clubs reported €600 million in profits in 2017 compared to the €1,700 million combined losses in 2011.
Čeferin has always refused the creation of an independent Super League and has guaranteed it would never happen on his watch. His stance has been repeatedly supported by the President of the European Club Association Andrea Agnelli and both showed a united front on this matter in a joint press conference in Brussels in November of 2018.
As part of his objective to consolidate communication and collaboration with key football stakeholders, Čeferin has also worked to strengthen ties with members of the European Parliament, Council of Europe and European Commission.
The investment in grassroots and women’s football has been at the core of Čeferin’s mandate and while record grants for the development of football were announced at the 42nd UEFA Ordinary Congress in February of 2018, UEFA also pledged to increase the funding of women’s football development projects by 50% in October of 2018. He also oversaw the signing of UEFA’s first ever sponsorship deal dedicated entirely to women’s football in December of 2018.
Čeferin was re-elected by acclamation for a new four-year term at the 43rd UEFA Congress in Rome on February 7, 2019. During his acceptance speech, the UEFA President reinforced a message of unity, ensuring “that European football remains united, that European football remains respectful, respectable and respected, and that European football continues to demonstrate solidarity and bring hope."
Čeferin was elected chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children in November of 2017, taking over from former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso. The UEFA Foundation for Children supports humanitarian projects around the world linked to children’s rights in areas such as health, education and integration.
Čeferin said, “I firmly believe that football has the power to change the world and I was inspired by Juan Mata to join the Common Goal movement. I call upon everyone in the football family - players, coaches, clubs and leagues - to show they care about social responsibility and donate to causes that they believe in.”
Čeferin was voted sports personality of the year in 2016 by Slovenian sports newspaper Ekipa SN. This was the ninth edition of the award, which is voted on by newspaper journalists and readers.
In January 2019 SportsPro Media included Čeferin in the exclusive list of most influential people in the sports industry. The UEFA President was also selected as one of the people of the year by World Soccer Magazine in its first issue of 2019.
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