Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, President of the Qatar Stars League (QSL), and Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA, have announced a strategic partnership designed to raise standards of professional club management and administration across all QSL first and second division clubs. The partnership was sealed by both Presidents signing a Memorandum of Understanding, which follows an independent review of the QSL that identified strategic initiatives to improve the competitiveness and entertainment level of the league.
At the announcement Sheikh Hamad said: “Post the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022ä we are looking at the next era of Qatari football. We have an ambitious plan to transform our club game and critical to our success will be for every QSL club to aspire to become a model professional club on and off the pitch. To help the QSL and all member clubs on this journey, FIFA is the perfect partner. Through this agreement we can collectively access huge experience, insight, and practical knowledge and turn it to our advantage.”
Gianni Infantino responded: “FIFA is delighted to support the development of the Qatar Stars League, as part of FIFA‘s vision to make football truly global and create a more competitive and sustainable global eco-system, where more clubs, leagues and players from all around the world can compete at the highest level. Therefore, FIFA stands ready to support the Qatar Stars League in its ground-breaking and exciting development and transformation plan, and we are looking forward to playing our part in helping talented individuals and progressive clubs to achieve their goals and bring Qatar football to the next level on and off the pitch.”
The Memorandum of Understanding reinforces the importance of setting new standards of off-field club performance and supporting professional club development. Those criteria s will be captured in a Club Participation Agreement (CPA), to be signed by QSL clubs prior to the 2022/23 season, which will cover six core areas of club business: club governance and management, football, matchday operations, revenue generation, marketing and community. All clubs will be required to build strong internal management teams and to implement budgeted plans in the six areas. Clubs failing to comply with the CPA will receive sanctions from the 2023/24 season onwards.
FIFA, as QSL partners, will support the QSL and their clubs by providing bespoke assistance, running workshops in multiple business areas, ensuring the smooth transfer of knowledge from leading international leagues. Club executives will be given access to wider FIFA educational courses and resources. FIFA will also be involved in the collection and analysis of club data.