The Confederation of African Football (CAF) wants to revolutionize the key aspects of continental football, by setting up a licensing system which aims to give a qualitative boost to the sector, particularly on the technical side, i.e., coaches.
A total of 21 coaches, including Africans, Europeans, and Brazilians, have been declared unfit to be on the bench and lead teams engaged in CAF Interclub competitions this season, as they do not hold the appropriate coaching license.
CAF has raised its standards for a coach to be admitted to the club’s bench. For the 2020/21 CAF Interclub season, all clubs had to ensure that their head coach complies with these licensing requirements.
Through the implementation of the CAF Club Licensing system, all head coaches of clubs engaged in the 2020/21 edition of Total CAF Champions League Total CAF Confederation Cup must have the “CAF A” coaching license. In addition to the “CAF A” license, coaches holding a “PRO license” from a valid sister confederation are also eligible to take part in CAF club competitions. To be able to coach at a certain level in Africa now, it will therefore be necessary to enroll in a licensing course and obtain a diploma.
These new coaching license requirements for CAF club competitions are just one example of how the new Club Licensing system will spur change in African football. This approach has already started to bear fruit through a better awareness of the need for qualified coaches. As a proof, several Member Associations have contacted CAF to plan training courses for their coaches.
According to Raul Chipenda, CAF Director of Development, “It is about raising the level of local coaches to ensure better quality training for African clubs. This measure should favor the choice of qualified coaches to assume responsibilities. Club presidents will have more self-confidence and it will be more obvious to hire a local coach rather than looking elsewhere.”
For him, the new CAF standards, inspired by best practices and world standards, constitute an essential vector for the evolution and development of African football.
Through the club licensing system in the coming seasons, CAF will formulate new requirements for all the clubs’ technical staffs, namely assistant coach, goalkeepers’ coach, physical trainers as well as the youth category coaches for standard certification across the continent.
CAF goal is to further professionalize the coaching profession so that the local coaches gains consideration in the football ecosystem, especially with their peers from other continents.