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UEFA as a New Agent of Global Governance: A Case Study of Relations Between UEFA and the Polish Government Against the Background of the UEFA EURO 2012

This article seeks to contribute to furthering our understanding of the new role of sports federations in a globalized world. Building on the concept of “global governors” introduced by Avant, Finnemore, and Sell it presents the evolution of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) against the background of transformation of global order and the enhanced profile of global sports. The assertive stance of UEFA as an actor creating new global rules (e.g., lex sportiva) is shown in the example of its relations with the Polish authorities during the corruption crises in Polish football and, later on, during the preparations to the UEFA Euro 2012. The reasons for a state to enter into relations with UEFA are explained by employing the concept of country branding during sport mega-events. The main thread running through the article is the assumption about the changing social and political role of sports.