Globally one would want to know why beloved clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea to mention a few, comply with FIFA Club Licensing, this is a platform used to promote and improving of the quality and the level of all football aspects in the World.
Owning a club following the FIFA Club Licensing guidelines, ensures that clubs have appropriate infrastructures, knowledge of the game and application of management and organisation leadership. It requires clubs to adhere to norms and standards that ensures the beautiful game is sustainable. The standards equally state that improving the economic and financial capacity of the clubs, through proper corporate governance and control as a key pillar.
A bit of history. The global objectives of the Club Licensing Procedure were defined by FIFA during its Congress, which was held in Munich, Germany in 2006. The FIFA Executive Committee adopted the FIFA Club Licensing Regulations on 29 October 2007 and it came into force on 1 January 2008. The CAF Club Licensing Regulations were approved on 19 January 2012 and came into force effective 1 March 2012. A period of introduction and soft implementation started immediately after the CAF Club Licensing regulations came into force and the Clubs Licensing procedure entered full implementation phase for the first time during the 2017 CAF Inter-club Competitions Season. All CAF member associations must respect the implementation of the Club Licensing Procedure.
The CAF Club Licensing requirements allows the parallel development and comparison amongst clubs by ensuring the necessary compliance in terms of Financial; Sporting; Legal; Administrative and Infrastructures criteria set up by FIFA, CAF and local Associations. This equally applies to our local Namibian Football, our clubs and developers need to professionalize, clubs should adapt to the CAF Club Licensing requirements for them to attract investors and sponsorship brands likes Tafel Lager.
It’s a devastating position we find ourselves in, Namibia is disqualified from hosting any National Team home matches because of lack of infrastructure, the lacunas in our stadium’s capacity doesn’t meet international standards, the same requirements are set for Clubs to compete in Continental competitions and local competitions. This standards ensures and guarantee the continuity of the international competitions of clubs during the season.
Football is a fast-growing industry and if you need to sustain it, one has to put rigorous standards to protect it just like any other industry in the Country. There are local laws one needs to comply with in terms of employment contracts, paying of tax, protections of brands, ownership of clubs, registration of clubs, transfer of ownership, investment in those entities, the list is endless.
Time and again we hear European Clubs being fined for not complying with the standards set up by FIFA and CAF. Football administration is much bigger than just performance on the filed of play. That is why the CAF Club Licensing regulations are graded into three different categories:
- “A” criteria- “MUST”: if the License applicant does not fulfill any “A” criteria requirement, it cannot be granted a license to enter the CAF inter-clubs competitions;
- “B” criteria- “MUST”: If the license applicant does not fulfill any “B” criteria requirement, it may be subject to sanctions as specified by the licensor but many still qualify to receive a license to enter the CAF inter-clubs competitions;
- “C” criteria-“BEST PRACTICE”: C criteria are best practice recommendations and the Non-fulfillment of any ‘C’ criteria may or may not lead to a sanction or refusal of the necessary license.
In 2021 CAF set up a new criterion for all Clubs entering the CAF inter Competition to have a Women Soccer Team and Youth Academy to improve African Football. That is what we want to hear, that is what this game is about, our hope is that our NFA sorts out the issues we have, and we will see the beautiful game back to our screens, we get to sit at Sam Nujoma Stadium and shout out to The Gladiators and Brave Warriors as they go to battle.
With that, I would like to thank you for this opportunity and remember to mask-up, wash your hands, sanitize and social distance, stay safe Namibia, you matter.
I am your Blogger Olsen