FIFA’s Club Licensing System took centre stage in Cairo as world football’s governing body and CAF held a special two-day seminar that ended on 23 April 2015. Fifty-one African member associations attended the event, which followed up a similar gathering jointly organised with CONCACAF in January 2015.

During the seminar, FIFA and external experts presented the key objectives of FIFA’s Club Licensing System, its implementation process and its fundamental role as a development tool.

“The journey has started for club licensing in Africa. Europe is ahead of us, in terms of infrastructure and financial means, but I believe that if we can fulfil the minimum requirements, it is there to help professionalise federations and clubs. We must promote a regular exchange between African member associations and grow a solidarity model between the members, the clubs, the players and the leagues. Club licensing is a project which I welcome to Africa,” said Anthony Baffoe, representative of the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana and a former Black Stars player.

“Federations across Africa have started to implement the club licensing system and the whole continent is eager to make it become a success,” commented Riadh Bennour on behalf of the Organising Committee for Management of CAF Club Licensing System.

FIFA’s Club Licensing System is based on five key criteria: sporting, personnel and administrative, financial, infrastructure and legal. These criteria aim to safeguard the credibility and integrity of club competitions while improving the level of professionalism within the football family and promoting transparency in the finances, ownership and control of clubs.

“We are organising this seminar to raise awareness about the significance of club licensing and the benefits it brings to club football, especially as a development tool for national football in the African continent,” concluded James Johnson, FIFA’s Senior Manager of Member Associations.

The Club Licensing System is a priority for FIFA’s 2015-2018 development cycle. Worldwide implementation is planned to be completed by 2016.