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With 209 associations affiliated to FIFA today, world football's governing body has rightly been dubbed the "United Nations of Football ".

FIFA supports the associations financially and logistically through various programmes. But they also have obligations. As representatives of FIFA in their countries, they must respect the statutes, aims and ideals of football's governing body and promote and manage our sport accordingly.

The associations make up the varying Confederations, which offer expert help to FIFA in tasks such as the organisation of tournaments.

The AFC in Asia, CAF in Africa, the Football Confederation (CONCACAF) in North and Central America and the Caribbean, CONMEBOL in South America, UEFA in Europe and the OFC in Oceania all provide support to FIFA without encroaching on the rights of the national associations. In fact, the Confederations actually raise the profile of football further, by staging their own competitions at club and international level and through a range of other activities.