The Football Association

The F.A is the governing body of the football game in England, and seeks to develop football at all levels with the aim of 'using the power of football to build a better future.'

The Football Association, as the game's governing body in England and the world's pre-eminent national association, occupies a central role in the relationships between football's many basic parts: fans, players, officials, managers and coaches.

Under the main aim of "using the power of football to build a better future", The F.A’s purpose is to lead the successful development of football at every level, with the overall aim of England winning the World Cup by 2006.

The organisation's core objectives are:

  • To be seen by fans, players, managers, clubs and the government as the leading sports governing body in the world
  • To lead the development of a grass-roots framework which will achieve the highest levels of participation in the world
  • To achieve consistent, long-term success on the field through player development at every level
  • To be a leading-edge marketing organisation
  • To lead and shape the debate about football at a national, UEFA and FIFA level
  • To provide leading-edge service levels internally and externally

The Council is made up of 92 elected representatives from the various parts of the game, including The FA Premier League, the Football League, County Associations, the universities, schools and services.


The Council meets about six times a year to consider major policy issues, as well as to approve proposals put forward by committee. Major business, strategic and commercial decisions are taken by the Main Board, a body of 12, established in December 1999 to make the decision-making process more streamlined. Members of the Main Board (six from the professional game and six from the national game) are the non-executive directors of The FA.


The Football Administration and Refereeing department provides four main administrative services to the game:

  • Competitions - runs, co-ordinates and administers seven competitions from The FA Cup to The FA Sunday Cup.
  • Registrations - responsible for registering contracts of all players who play in leagues and competitions sanctioned by The FA. The department also deals with international clearance; work permits and supervises the transfer market.
  • Disciplinary - responsible for policing and administering disciplinary and appeals procedures from the Premiership, through the Football League to the senior semi-professional leagues.
  • Refereeing - responsible for the recruitment, training and examination of referees, assistant referees, instructors and assessors, together with appointment of officials for FA competitions and implementing changes to the Laws of the Game.
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The National Game division is responsible for increasing participation in the men’s and women’s game, providing a co-coordinated approach to the development of football at all levels below the Football League.

County FA’s run the game at the local level

The 43 County Football Associations are the administrative backbone of grassroots football throughout the country. The Counties are independent bodies, affiliated to The Football Association, but responsible for running all aspects of the game at the local level. Around 40,000 football clubs in total are affiliated to County FA’s.

Many of the County F.A’s have been in existence from more ...

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