Club licensing is an initiative implemented by FIFA in 2013. The initiative was implemented for several mandates which include allowing the development of benchmarking for clubs in financial, sporting, legal, personnel, administrative and infrastructure-related criteria throughout BFA.
This initiative was made to improve the economic and financial capability of the clubs; increasing their transparency and credibility, adapt clubs sporting infrastructure to provide players, spectators, and media representatives with suitable, well – equipped, and safe facilities and to further promote and continuously improve the standard of all aspects of football in Botswana.
Botswana premier league clubs are in danger of facing serious penalties for failing to comply with club licensing regulations. For a particular club to be considered as fully applicable for club licensing, it should ensure that six main sections of club licensing are taken into consideration.
The first section provides an introduction to the club licensing and compliance manual concept, the second section addresses the licensor, explaining its tasks, defining the license applicant, the licensing bodies as well as the core process to be applied.
The third section is directed at the clubs and describes the process of the application for a club license; the fourth section is also directed at the clubs and describes the seven criteria that need to be met to be granted a license to play in domestic competitions.
The fifth section sets to explain the registration protocol that clubs must follow when registering their players and technical officials and the last section sets out the monitoring process in relation to the abidance with the license and the conduct of clubs that have been issued with licenses to compete in the Botswana domestic competitions.
TEAMS STRUGGLING WITH CLUB LICENSING COMPLIANCE
According to Botswana football Association statistics, 10 out of the 16 premier league clubs are likely to face charges of failing to comply with club licensing.
We can now say more than 50% are still struggling with the issue of compliance. In this case, the big question may be what is the cause of the problem, while on the other hand may wonder if FIFA is fair enough to put these clubs under pressure looking at the availability of the resources in a particular club?
On the other hand, we should consider the roles of individuals for a particular club to enhance accountability for any negligence that may occur in any matter arising. Since the implementation of this imitative Botswana had two cases that involved Gaborone United and Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
In 2017 Gaborone United was fined 39 US dollars for failing to pay the Ghanaian international top striker Bismarck Appiah. Apparently, Mochudi Centre chiefs is facing another fine for failing to pay their former head coach, also the Zimbabwean international Philani Mabhena.
FINES THAT OCCUR FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH CLUB LICENSING
Moreover, FIFA has introduced several sections or fines to clubs that fail to comply with club licensing manually, This consists of a failure to maintain at least one active youth team.
This shall attract a fine of Five Thousand Pula, and the offender shall be given a final grace period of 60 (Sixty) days to assemble the team.
Failure to maintain and operate an office shall attract a fine of Two Thousand Pula and the offender shall be given a final grace period of 30 (Thirty) days to operate an office, clubs denied a license and/or having the license withdrawn during the season shall relegate to the Regional First Division League in the subsequent season.
It is just a matter of time for our football name to be tarnished if we do not pull our socks and try our level best to implement strategies that will assist clubs to have funds which is a key to meet most of the requirement club licensing manually.