DUSHANBE, May 19, 2011, Asia-Plus -- President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Michel Platini, is expected to pay visit to Tajikistan in early June.

According to Tajikistan’s Football Federation, the purpose of the visit is for the UEFA president to get acquainted with the football development situation in Tajikistan.  “He is expected to arrive in Dushanbe on June 8,” the source said.

UEFA’s National Associations Director Theodore Theodoridis, Adviser to the
UEFA President Pascal Torres, and UEFA’s Treasurer Marios Lefkaritis will accompany Platini on his trip to Tajikistan.

During his stay in Tajikistan, Michel Platini is expected to meet with Tajik state officials, leadership of Tajikistan’s Football Federation and Tajik young soccer players, the source added.  

The UEFA president Michel Francois Platini (born June 21, 1955) was a member of the French national team that won the 1984 European Championship, a tournament in which he was the top goalscorer and voted the best player.  He participated in the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups, reaching the semi-finals in the latter two.  Platini, Alain Giresse, Luis Fernandez and Jean Tigana together made up the "carré magique" (French for "magic square"), the group of midfield players that formed the heart of the French national team throughout the 1980s.  He is also widely regarded as one of the best passers in football history as well as one of history''s greatest free kick specialists and finishers.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer.  UEFA represents most of the national football associations of Europe, runs national and club competitions in its area, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those competitions. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia transcontinental nations such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Cyprus, and Russia, are members of the UEFA rather than AFC, as is Israel which lies entirely in Asia (Israel and Kazakhstan are former AFC members).  There are members that do not represent sovereign states, such as the Faroe Islands, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Irish FA).  However no unrecognized nations are members of UEFA, with Monaco being the only European UN member not a member of UEFA.

UEFA is the biggest of six continental confederations of FIFA. Of all the confederations, it is by far the strongest in terms of wealth and influence at the club level. Virtually all of the world''s top players play in European leagues in part due to the salaries available from the world''s wealthiest football clubs, particularly in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.