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Club licensing still an enigma

Publishing Date : 07 August, 2017


Botswana Football Association (BFA) has cast off initial documents submitted by all the 16 premier league teams supporting club licensing, WeekendSport has established.

Club licensing has turned out to be the monkey on the back of local teams which are huffing and puffing as commercialization and professionalization of the local game takes shape. A new report from Lekidi paints a picture of sluggishness on the part of the elite league teams on Club licensing. According to the club licensing files evaluation meeting report dated 27th July, all the teams have been served with letters to go and re-do their documents. Orapa United, Jwaneng Galaxy, Police XI, BDF XI and Township Rollers are the only teams that have made significant progress to obtain licenses. However, sources say, the teams have not attained 100% but are in the 75% range.

“What is lacking is minor things like contracts of personnel and lack of supporting documents like birth certificates or signature of guardians for development players. Lack of training programs for development teams, but all in all these are the teams we can issue with licenses. If we could be marking we would give them maybe 75%, because they satisfied the core of club licensing,” a source said. The source indicated that availability of facilities like stadiums, financial and better resources played a role in ensuring the aforementioned teams made strides.  

According to FIFA Club licensing regulations there are three criteria to fulfil (A, B, C). Criteria A, is a must for a team to be issued with a license and it includes five key pointers; Sporty, infrastructure, Administrative &personnel, legal and financials which unfortunately teams fared badly on. Sources say the teams mostly failed to comply with Category A requisites especially sporty aspects. “It is disheartening but we are hopeful they will get there, most of them failed to deliver audited financial statements, no developments team or supporting documents for the minor ones. Further they have failed in leasing training grounds and even stadiums they will use in the upcoming season,” revealed a source in an interview.

A report seen by this publication has pitted the poster boys of BTC Premierships as the slowest wheels of club licensing. Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Gaborone United, Extension Gunners and Gilport Lions are major shocks and serious doubts to obtain licenses. “You will find that a report is disorganized for a team like GU, while for Chiefs it’s a very serious situation where there is literally nothing recorded under both sporty and infrastructure and lacking information on administration and personnel.” The report further indicates for Gunners under sporting: “No detailed youth programs youth teams- Provided U17 list without consent form, for Infrastructure, Training ground – no information provided Stadium availability – no information provided.”

With most of the teams lagging behind in implementing the idea of club licensing, they have drastic repercussions awaiting them. This time around there will be no waiver from CAF like last season and the defaulting teams will be sidelined for a season before being relegated the following season if they don’t rectify the shortfalls. Chairperson of the First Instance Body tasked with club licensing drive Mfolo Mfolo could not be drawn into discussing the matter. “For now there is nothing to share with you, because we are still engaging the teams first, but what I can say is there is a light at the end of tunnel,” he said.

For his part BPL acting CEO Thabo Ntshinogang said they are expecting clubs to comply after rigorous training. “We haven’t seen the files yet but the authorities are still visiting teams until the 10th of August and we are hopeful they will comply.”



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