UEFA has published its strategy for the next five years - 'Together for the Future of Football' - with a strong focus placed on accessibility.

The strategy outlines UEFA's commitment to a game that is transparent, progressive and recognises the true value of those within football.

In his foreword, newly re-elected UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said, "European football is the best and most watched in the world. The question is, how do we keep it that way? How do we rise to the challenges of the 21st century on the pitch, off the pitch and in our broader communities – and retain our place at the top of people’s affections and respect?".

"This strategy seeks to answer those questions to the benefit of the entire European football community –national associations, professional clubs, match officials, amateur clubs, coaches, players and fans – while recognising our role in using the power and reach of football to help the societies that we are a part of", added Čeferin.

The strategy lists UEFA's four main objectives around football - to grow and secure long-term participation within the European game, to lead and support the advancement of national associations, to promote and develop football infrastructure across Europe, and to ensure that football within Europe is available and accessible to all.

There is also a section entitled 'The Twelfth Player' within the strategy. This describes football fans as "the lifeblood" of the game with a role to play and a contribution to make towards preserving football and its spirit of solidarity for years to come.

The strategy says, "Football has a responsibility to take care of this community. Together we must defend its sporting values, enhance its contribution to society and protect the environment in which it is played. We must harness the best of modernity to further its access, not hinder it. Above all, football must remain open and accessible to the fans".

Speaking at the UEFA Congress held in Rome, Čeferin emphasised the need for the football community to have a strong social and humanitarian vision. He said, "It means thinking of our society, our children, future generations, our planet. This is why we launched the #EqualGame campaign, promoting access to football for all, regardless of disability, background, religion, age or sexual orientation".

To download the UEFA Strategy 2019 - 2024, 'Together for the Future of Football', please click here.

Published 08/02/2019