A support mission for the benefit of club presidents of the Botswana Football League (BFL) was held from February 20 to 25, 2021, in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, to initiate the BFL’s clubs on the best way to comply with CAF club licensing regulations.
Accompanied by a CAF club licensing instructor Kabelo Bosilong, Muhammad Sidat (Senior Club Licensing Manager) led the operations which resulted in commitments being made between CAF and BFA, the latter represented by Acting CEO Thabiso Kebotsamang, and members of the executive committee.
At the end of a week, the culmination of which was a round table organized on Friday at Lekidi Football Center in Gaborone.
“We are here to provide a proper roadmap for club licensing, more importantly is to implement the club licensing regulations. Thus far, the BFA is aware of the objectives of the club licensing system.”, Muhammad Sidat said during the meeting.
Other stakeholders at the meeting included Botswana Football League (BFL) chairperson, Jagdish Shah, BFA’s Club Licensing coordinator, Olebile Pilara as well as the BFA Legal and Compliance, Pako Moakofhi.
The Botswana FA has been selected as one of the pilot projects for the online CAF Club Licensing compliance. When welcoming the CAF duo to the BFA headquarters and Botswana, BFA First Vice-President Marshlow Motlogelwa said club licensing is an integral part of standardizing football. He said to have a proper implemented club licensing structure is vital for Botswana FA hence the request to seek support mission from CAF.
“We are at around 60% with regards to club licensing as the FA. We therefore want to close gaps in this process. Compliance is very fundamental and therefore with today’s mission support from CAF we are hopeful that we will achieve our set goals. We have reached a critical stage where we have to fully induct our clubs on club licensing which I think we will tap from your skill. We are looking for a partial and transparent report on our process by far,” said Motlogelwa.
The CAF Club Licensing Senior Manager, Muhammad Sidat said the request by the Botswana FA shows how the secretariat is taking a leap towards making sure that all leagues and clubs are run professionally.
“CAF has developed 5 criteria for club licensing however, from country to country, the federation may add to what works for their leagues. The BFA needs a proper strategy to implement club licensing, the elite has been granted autonomy to run its affairs. It will be imperative to have a criterion to be implemented for the BFL to be compliant. It is highly recommended that the strategy has timelines,” said Sidat.
Furthermore, the BFL’s chairperson, Jagdish Shah said it is important for all the stakeholders to sit together and fully understand the club licensing tool. He said after three years of trying to adopt the tool, many clubs are still lacking in the process. He acknowledged the efforts by the BFA for seeking help from the CAF Club Licensing Unit adding that this will surely speed up club licensing.