New FIFA club licensing praised

CAF Champions League

The new Head of Professional Football, James Johnson, former Newcastle and Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and CAF Club Licensing committee member Suzgo Nyirenda all said the club licensing venture would go a long way to help member federations to a more efficient and viable setup.

In his opening remarks in a workshop being attended by several federation secretary generals, senior managers, former professional players, CAF and FIFA members, Johnson who has just been appointed Head of the Professional Football said the club licensing was an important tool that will drive part of the broader reforms within the game.

“By working together, sharing our expertise and pooling our efforts, we can make club licensing a major driver of football development – improving stadium safety, fan experience and youth football development with the ultimate goal of opening access to and improving standards of the game for players, fans, clubs and leagues across the world,” said Johnson.

Johnson lauded CAF for making huge headway with regards to club licensing since last year boasting 61 licensed clubs from 26 federations compared to zero at this time last year. The aim is for all member associations to implement the Club Licensing Systems and in this regard, FIFA has agreed with CAF to organise four sub-regional seminars this calendar year.

Nyirenda, who is a member of the CAF Club Licensing committee, said the biggest beneficiaries of this project where clubs themselves as this would create professionalism within their respective business units.

Hislop, who gave a keynote opening address, said the club licensing seminars would change the face of global football as they would expedite football development through structured academies, coaching, uplift women’s football and general grassroots development.

“Generally, this will help smaller nations as member federations will share experiences which will help bridge disparities that currently exist among nations,” said Hislop.

As per directive of new FIFA president Gianni Infantino, the FIFA club licensing initiatives shall be developed in all territories as a way to seriously improve and professionalise club football.