Aleksander Čeferin was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 13 October 1967.
A graduate of Ljubljana University's law faculty, Aleksander Čeferin went on to work for his family's law firm, and developed a special interest in representing professional athletes and sports clubs. He later took over from his father as company director.
He first took a formal interest in local football in 2005 through his work with the executive board of KMN Svea Lesna Litija, one of Slovenia's most successful futsal clubs. A member of the executive committee of amateur side FC Ljubljana Lawyers since 2005, he served as a member at NK Olimpija Ljubljana from 2006-11.
A married father of three, fluent in English and Italian, Aleksander Čeferin was elected as Football Association of Slovenia (NZS) president in 2011. He also served as a second and third vice-chairman of the UEFA Legal Committee from 2011 to 2016.
Aleksander Čeferin was elected as UEFA's seventh president at the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens in September 2016, and automatically became a vice-president of the world body FIFA.
Mr Čeferin came into office with a clear vision for the future, which focussed on the further protection, promotion and development of European football, putting the game first and safeguarding its interests. He pledged to work for unity and dialogue among the European football community, reinforcing co-operation with all of the game’s major stakeholders, and empowering the national associations to take on a bigger role in creating programmes and projects.
The new era, the UEFA President said, would be one of “stability, hope, balance and friendship.” A forward-looking UEFA, he emphasised, would be pro-active, move with the times and lead by example.
A series of good governance reforms proposed by Mr Čeferin were approved by the UEFA member associations at the Ordinary Congress in Helsinki in April 2017 – reforms that were designed to strengthen UEFA in the coming years.
The reforms included the introduction of term limits for the UEFA President and Executive Committee members, the proviso that candidates for (re)-election to the Executive Committee must hold an active office (president, vice-president, general secretary or CEO) in their respective national association, and the anchoring of good governance and ethics in the UEFA Statutes.
Aleksander Čeferin has pursued a policy of dialogue and consultation with major football stakeholders – clubs, leagues and players’ unions – for the overall well-being of the game. The reforms endorsed in Helsinki also included the granting of two full member positions on the UEFA Executive Committee to representatives of the European Club Association (ECA), the body representing Europe’s clubs.
Another major priority has been the fight to eliminate match-fixing from football – seen as a real threat to the game’s integrity. As part of the UEFA President’s integrity mission, UEFA has created a new hub within the UEFA administration which focusses on the protection of football, and which includes the disciplinary, anti-doping and integrity units.
Aleksander Čeferin has pledged to strengthen UEFA’s financial fair play measures designed to guarantee the financial stability and well-being of European football – building on the impressive success of the system put in place in 2009. He has also underlined that UEFA must be a “social fair play” body which promotes respect, diversity and inclusion, and shows no tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia or any form of discrimination.
The UEFA President has stressed his total commitment to maintaining women’s football’s impressive development, while also fostering the game’s vital grassroots, and listening to the views of the fans – described by Mr Čeferin as the lifeblood of the game.
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