Frequently Asked Questions


What is small-sided football?

Small-sided football is the term used to describe all types of 5, 6 and 7-a-side football in the UK. In Europe, small-sided football is referred to as 'minifootball' which describes all forms of adult small-sided football. In May 2012 the European Commission recognised small-sided football (under the term minifootball) as a separate sport to 11-a-side football.

Who are the UK Socca association?

The UK Socca Association (The UKMA) is a non-profit making body bringing various UK federations and associations together into one group to act as the Governing Body for all small-sided football in the United Kingdom. The UK Socca Association is the sole governing body for small-sided football in the United Kingdom.

What about the FA?

Traditionally the FA has represented all forms of football in the United Kingdom. However, the FA’s primary focus is on 11 a-side Football and not small-sided football or minifootball. In May 2012 the European Commission in Brussels recognised small-sided football (under the term minifootball) as a separate sport apart from 11-a-side football which therefore required a Governing Body for each member country. This effectively meant that small-sided football in the UK required a Governing Body which is entirely distinct from - and independent of - the FA.

Affiliation - What does it mean?

It is not currently a requirement that any person, corporate body or other organisation that organises competitive small-sided football leagues in the United Kingdom should affiliate to the UKMA however, as with affiliation to 11-a-side football, affiliation to UKMA can provide substantial benefits.

What are the main benefits of affiliation?

Firstly, your organisation has the benefit of knowing that it is affiliated to the correct governing body for the sport you organise. More importantly, this means that you will have the chance to benefit from any future sponsorship deals we obtain, either with equipment, assistance or financial help. This can only benefit you as an organiser. Being affiliated to us means also that your organisation has the opportunity of increased exposure both on the national and international stage, should you so wish. This can help you in attracting more teams to play in your leagues.

We know that attracting referees is one of the hardest things that you, as an organiser, has to do each week. That is why we are offering a service of assistance in recruiting referees across the country (and direct assistance with a database for gold members). You know that if you are struggling to find a referee then you are not alone because we are here to help you where we can.

For Silver and Gold members you have access to use our free fully automated discipline system helping you to collect your money more easily. There is no paperwork involved whatsoever in the collection of these fines and your referees are given a unique password which they use to log a fine with us. The funds from those fines are then sent directly into your bank account automatically.

You can promote the fact that one of your players could represent England in international competitions. You will also receive free promotional material for the UK 6 aside Championships which gives your teams the opportunity to play on the national stage. This is a benefit available exclusively only to our members.

What does it cost to affiliate to the UKMA?

Unlike the FA, the UKMA accepts affiliation from any bonafide organiser of small-sided football leagues in the United Kingdom completely free of charge. We are non-profit making and receive external funds to give benefits to our members without any charge. Our statutory aims are to ensure that small-sided football in the United Kingdom is properly regulated and encouraged in all forms. Including ethnic, disabled and minority groups.

I affiliate to the FA - why should I affiliate to the UKMA?

You don’t have to but it is likely that in the coming years, now Brussels has recognised small-sided football as a separate sport, different countries FA’s will become less and less involved, and will receive less funding to develop small-sided football. This funding is more likely to be channelled through Governing Bodies’ such as ourselves. It would be useful therefore for organisers in the UK to affiliate to the Governing Body which best represents their particular sport. Remember 11-a-side football and 5 or 6 a-side football are now officially different sports.

Can I affiliate to both the FA and the UKMA?

Yes. There is nothing to stop you affiliating to as many Governing Bodies as you wish, although we would advise you to affiliate to the UKMA as the correct Governing Body for small-sided football.