|Membership||146 national associations & Paripana Sporting Council|
The Union of International Club Associations, commonly known by its acronym UICA (/juːˈikə/ ew-EE-kə), is the governing body of several football competitions, including the Champions’ Cup, the world championship for football clubs. It is headquartered at the Olympic Tower in Aeropag, Paripana.
UICA was founded through a merger of the closely-related, but originally separate, organizing committees for the Champions’ Cup (which also organized the Series B Champions’ Cup and the Super Cup), based in Aeropag, and the Globe Cup, based in Lasft, Cafundéu. Although the original purpose of the merger was merely the convenience of a single legal identity, the competitions’ formats were eventually homogenized and the Lasft office was ultimately closed during a severe economic crisis in Cafundéu. Recently, these four competitions were supplemented with the creation of the Youth Cup for under-19 teams and the Interactive Champions’ Cup for players of the official video game series.
|Champions’ Cup (CC)||1–4||Champions and best-placed teams|
|Globe Cup (GC)||3||Best-placed teams outside CC|
|Series B Champions’ Cup (SBCC)||4||Best second-division teams|
|Super Cup (SC)||CC, GC, and SBCC champions|
|Youth Cup (YC)||U19 teams of CC group stage clubs|
|Interactive Champions’ Cup (ICC)||Players of UICA video games|
UICA operates five club competitions: the Champions’ Cup, which is the world championship for club football; the Globe Cup, for teams which fell short of qualifying for the Champions’ Cup or were eliminated from it; the Series B Champions’ Cup, for the world’s top second-division clubs; the Super Cup, played at the end of the season between the winners of those three tournaments; and the Youth Cup, a tournament for the under-19 teams of the Champions’ Cup group stage qualifiers. Any association which operates a club competition is entitled to enter one team in the Champions’ Cup, three teams in the Globe Cup, and four eligible teams in the Series B Champions’ Cup. Additional places in the Champions’ Cup are granted to the top teams in UICA’s coëfficient ranking, which takes into account results from the past five seasons of the Champions’ Cup and Globe Cup. Entries to the Super Cup and Youth Cup are restricted to clubs which qualify through another UICA competition.
The three primary competitions—the Champions’ Cup, the Globe Cup, and the Series B Champions’ Cup—each use a format including a series of preliminary rounds, a group stage, and a series of knockout rounds. All ties, except the competition finals, are played over two legs, with the away goals rule used if the aggregate score is level after the two legs or after extra time. The group stages are four-team round-robins, with each team playing the others in its group home and away, receiving three points for a win and one for a draw. The competitions’ finals are played as single matches at neutral sites, chosen by a selection committee from among bids submitted by the member associations. The Youth Cup’s group stage mirrors the schedule of the Champions’ Cup, and is followed by a knockout phase of single-match ties. The Super Cup is a single round-robin between the three participating champions.
UICA maintains a consistent graphic identity across the four competitions, each competition using the same black star-shaped logo with its own unique symbol and color: the Champions’ Cup uses orange, the Globe Cup blue, the Series B Champions’ Cup yellow, the Super Cup green, and the Youth Cup magenta.
The Champions’ Cup (abbreviated CC; previously known as the TakilQuip Champions’ Cup and abbreviated TQCC) is the longest-running global club competition and fourth-longest-running football competition, having had fifty-one editions to date. UICA considers it to be the world championship for club teams, involving the champions of each participating association. Sixteen teams, including the defending champion and the champions of twelve associations, qualify directly for the competition’s group stage, while other teams must negotiate the preliminary and playoff rounds. Teams eliminated in the preliminary and playoff rounds, as well as teams which finish third in their group, receive a second chance at UICA competition in the Globe Cup. The Champions’ Cup is the only UICA competition to have a strict capacity requirement for its final stadium; bids from stadia with a capacity under 60 000 are summarily rejected.
The allocation of places in the Champions’ Cup is determined by UICA coëfficients. The top three associations in the coëfficient list are allowed to enter four teams, the fourth- through sixth-placed associations are allowed three places, the seventh- through thirty-second-placed associations two places, and all lower-ranked or unranked associations are allowed only one place for their champion. Additionally, a place is reserved for the title holder if it fails to qualify; if this team is from one of the top three associations, it replaces the fourth-placed team, while if the team is from a lower-ranked association, that association receives an additional place if necessary.
The most successful club in the Champions’ Cup is Yuba United, which has won the tournament on six occasions, and is the only club to receive the UICA Star and be permanently awarded the World Champion Clubs’ Cup trophy. Over fifty-one seasons, the competition has been won by thirty-three clubs from twenty different associations, of which Capitalizt SLANI has accounted for the most titles (eight), while Cafundéu, Jasĭyun, Polar Islandstates, and Septentrionia have each had three different clubs win the title.
The Globe Cup (GC) is the largest of the UICA competitions; in recent seasons, it has involved over three hundred teams. Each association, regardless of coëfficient, is allowed to enter three teams in the tournament, with additional places reserved for the defending champion, and for the fourth-placed team of the Champions’ Cup titleholder’s association if that team is unable to enter the Champions’ Cup. These teams are joined by teams eliminated from the Champions’ Cup. Under the current format, only seven teams enter the group stage directly, while the remainder of the field of forty-eight is filled by teams which have successfully navigated the series of preliminary, playoff, and qualifying rounds. The top two teams in each group are joined by the eight third-placed teams from the Champions’ Cup group stage, forming a thirty-two team knockout phase.
The distribution of championships is much more even in the Globe Cup than the Champions’ Cup; in forty-eight seasons, only six clubs have won the Globe Cup twice: Albrecht FC, Cafundó do Juta, Liria Prizren (consecutively), Mapabore Juventud, Soldarian FC, and Sonoma Center Panthers. Globe Cup champions have come from twenty-three different associations; Capitalizt SLANI tops the list with six titles won by five different clubs.
Series B Champions’ Cup
The Series B Champions’ Cup (SBCC) is the only UICA competition not intended for first-division teams; only teams in the second division or lower are allowed to participate. Each association is permitted to enter four teams, regardless of coëfficient, and no place is reserved for the title holder. The format mirrors that of the Champions’ Cup, with a thirty-two team group stage and a sixteen-team knockout phase. However, since no teams are given byes to the playoff round or group stage, and the draws are not seeded by coëfficient ranking, a much broader range of teams have a chance at success in the Series B Champions’ Cup than in the Champions’ Cup.
Since in most leagues teams which qualify for the Series B Champions’ Cup are promoted to the first division at the same time, and have to be relegated before they can qualify again, only four teams have managed to win the Series B Champions’ Cup twice: Gamboa FC, Hatton Town, Kionao Locals, and Metropolitano. Certain leagues, however, have managed to produce title winners consistently: four of the first seven winners were from Ad’ihan, and more recently, six different Polarian clubs won the tournament over a period of ten seasons.
The Super Cup (SC) is held at the end of each UICA season between the winners of the three primary competitions, providing an opportunity for the winners of the Globe Cup and Series B Champions’ Cup winners to challenge the world champion. It consists of three matches: first, the Globe Cup winner hosts the Series B Champions’ Cup winner; next, the Series B Champions’ Cup winner hosts the Champions’ Cup winner; finally, the Champions’ Cup winner hosts the Globe Cup winner. The team with the most points from this round-robin is declared the champion. In the event that two teams are tied, even for second place, kicks from the penalty mark are played after the final match to break the tie. In the event that all three teams are tied (which has not yet occured in forty-eight editions), an unusual three-way penalty shootout would ensue.
Yuba United won the competition for the fifth time in Super Cup 48 to win the UICA Star for the competition and retain possession of the original Super Cup trophy. The thirty-seven winners of the Super Cup have represented twenty different associations, with Capitalizt SLANI clubs holding a record seven titles and Jasĭyun counting four different Super Cup winners among its members.
The Youth Cup (YC) is a competition for under-19 teams. For the sake of expediency, it is not open to champions of national youth leagues, but rather is limited to the thirty-two clubs which qualify for the Champions’ Cup group stage, so that the group format can mirror that of the Champions’ Cup, with teams travelling to the same locations as their senior counterparts. The knockout stage is composed of single matches rather than home-and-away ties; the first knockout round is hosted by the winners of each group, and the quarterfinal hosts are chosen by a random draw. The semifinals and final are played in the week before the Series B Champions’ Cup final at the same stadium. Extra time is never played in the knockout phase; drawn matches are instead settled by kicks from the penalty mark.
Interactive Champions’ Cup
The Interactive Champions’ Cup (ICC) is a competition developed in partnership with Gordonopian Games to provide a virtual version of the Champions’ Cup for players of the official UICA video games. Players can choose to play using any of the clubs available in the current version of the game. The bulk of the competition is played over the Internet, with the top thirty-two players invited to the final event. Ruben Turfón of Farfadillis won the first edition of the tournament held in Columbia, playing as Jungle Strike FC.
UICA does not maintain a persistent membership; associations can join at any time simply by entering teams for the next season of competitions, and are removed from the roll when they decline to enter competitions for a period of five seasons. As of season 51, 146 national associations are members of UICA. The Paripana Sporting Council is exceptionally considered a founding member of UICA; it represents the interests of its own member associations, which include Capitalizt SLANI and Jasĭyun, in UICA, but teams from the PSC’s Élite League enter UICA competitions as representatives of their respective associations, rather than of the PSC itself.