The 28th ECA General Assembly ended with a call for continued collaboration, cohesion and connectivity from all stakeholders as the association that represents European clubs across the continent concluded its two-day meeting today in Istanbul, Türkiye.

Across two days of working groups, sub-division meetings and a full plenary session, some 280 participants from across ECA’s membership met, discussed, and debated a range of issues facing European football including:

  • The International Match Calendar
  • The Transfer System
  • Youth Development and Academies
  • ECA’s Women’s Football Strategy
  • Club Football’s Environmental and Social Agenda
  • The UEFA / ECA Joint Venture focusing on post 2024 men’s club competitions
  • UEFA Club Competitions Revenue Distribution
  • The FIFA World Cup 2022 Club Benefits Programme
  • The General Assembly also approved the 2021/22 Accounts and the 2022/23 Budget

Address by the ECA Chairman

In his keynote address (see full speech here), ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi paid tribute to member clubs and updated them on the progress the ECA Board and administration have made against the five priorities laid out at the beginning of his tenure as Chairman:

  • Ensuring financial stability within European football
  • Developing stronger ECA relationships
  • Creating more meaningful ECA member benefits
  • Enhancing diversity and inclusion throughout football
  • Renewing ECA’s spirit & values

ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi said: “Under the new ECA, we are more creative, more collective, more connected. This is the spirit that will shape the future of European club football. We look forward to the next ECA General Assembly in Budapest in March 2023.”

ECA Award Winners Announced

In the annual ECA Awards 16 inspirational club projects were shortlisted and four winners took home the honours in the following categories:

  • ECA Social Impact Award 2022 – AIK
    • For The Digital Locker Room: An educational program focused on eradicating harassment and bullying on online platforms.
  • ECA Women’s Football Award 2022 – Heart of Midlothian
    • The first Scottish club to fully integrate football for all into existing Elite Academy structure. Boys, girls, women and men are afforded the same opportunities.
  • ECA Youth Football Award 2022 – FC Internazionale Milano
    • For The Youth Sector Educational Project: A youth project designed to not only create elite players but to create well-rounded individuals who are prepared for adult life, be that as elite footballers or not.
  • ECA Corporate Partnership Award 2022 – AFC Ajax
    • For Sandals Resorts & Ajax present - Future Goals: A Caribbean-wide initiative that encourages children to play football, by providing sustainably produced materials.

The ECA Awards, revamped and with new categories from 2021, aim to promote and reward outstanding achievements from ECA Member Clubs which can serve as inspiration for the whole ECA membership and wider football community.

ECA Welcomes High-Level Guests from Football and Beyond

The General Assembly also saw addresses from a number of high-level personalities from football, and beyond, as ECA seeks to take on board the learnings and experiences from some influential leaders from the business, sporting and public policy sectors. Keynote speeches and presentations were delivered by:

  • Mehmet Kasapoğlu, Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports
  • Gianni Infantino, FIFA President
  • Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA President
  • Thomas Bach, IOC President
  • Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 CEO
  • Dave Coplin, The Envisioners CEO

29th General Assembly Location Announced

The 29th ECA General Assembly location was announced and will take place in Budapest, Hungary on 27/28 March 2023.