Francistown — Appropriate infrastructure, effective and efficient team management, appropriate financial policies and compliance with all legal and sporting instruments under CAF rules is what club licensing is about.
Regional coordinator of Botswana Football Association (BFA) and secretary general of the club licensing committee, Setete Phuthego said this at a consultative meeting with representatives of Debswana First Division North teams in Francistown recently.
Phuthego said allowing parallel development and comparison among teams under all the factors of club licensing would promote and improve the quality of football.
He urged football teams to comply and implement all necessary club licensing requirements or face the consequences.
"What CAF has done is come up with sanctions to punish teams that won't be complying with all requirements of club licensing, and that is docking of three points from such teams from time to time until they adhere to what is required of them. Teams will relegate if they do not take this measure seriously, and I foresee a situation in which many teams from both the premier and first division leagues would have lost points before going for the December break because of non-compliance," he said.
As a committee in charge of the regulation formulated by CAF and adopted by FIFA, he said they had also been put under pressure to ensure all teams complied, and that they had been given up to October 15 this year to submit their progress report to CAF and FIFA.
The club licensing issue has been a thorn for many local football teams particularly first division teams, and Phuthego highlighted that it was meant to avoid legal disputes between teams, individuals or companies.
It requires, among others, for teams to bring their constitution and names of its executive committee when making club licenses. It also requires that the information provided to the instance body should tally with that handed at the Registration of Societies.
The instant body is the first point of contact for teams submitting club licensing requirements.
It awards grades on the application and holds the deciding powers of whether a team had fulfilled all licensing requirements.
On playing grounds, he explained that first division teams had been exempted from having their own grounds, but were advised to use other teams grounds provided they had entered into formal agreements with such teams. The grounds, he noted, were required to be fenced as a safety precaution measure.
"As for coaches at your league, we have agreed that a minimum of CAF C coaching license should be what the team head coach possesses and preliminary grassroots training for their assistants," he said. He added that audited financial reports were required for premier league teams, and that first division would only be required to keep financial statements of all team expenditures so as to account for money spent.
He called for all teams to have offices with communication equipment installed and a secretariat. He warned against conducting official team matters at homes.
Lastly, he advised teams to form youth teams because it was also a factor in club licensing requirements.
"You can adopt any school for this one, but your youth team should be a properly structured one with programmes approved by the BFA technical department and such youngsters should be taken for medical assessments to determine their fitness. This is to protect teams from potential future lawsuits if anything happened to youngsters under your teams," he alerted.
In his welcome remarks, Debswana First Division North chairperson, Mpenzeni Sambandawe informed the team representatives that he had given them until September 21 to have fulfilled some club licensing requirements, but that none had given his committee a progress report.
On the commencement of the league, he said after their meeting with Baboneng Film Production last week they were hopeful the league would kick-off on October 13.
"When we got to the meeting, we came to the realisation that as a league, there were certain obligations that we did not fulfil to Baboneng and vice-versa due to miscommunication.
And the production company leadership has promised us that they would fulfil their part soon, hopefully after we meet them again after independence day," he said.