Morocco has become the latest country to host a FIFA club licensing seminar as world football’s governing body continues to expand club licensing globally in conjunction with the confederations with the aim of strengthening the professionalisation of club football.
Former Moroccan international Mustapha Hadji, who participated in two FIFA World Cups and was named African Footballer of the Year in 1998, gave the keynote speech this morning to kick off the two-day seminar.
“With my experience as a professional player at clubs in France, Portugal, Spain, England and Germany, I have seen how club football benefits from professional club management," he said. "African club football will benefit from the implementation of a club licensing system. Furthermore, it is a great opportunity to bring together all important stakeholders – associations, leagues, clubs and players, and this is a chance that we, as a continent, cannot miss."
“The FIFA Club Licensing Seminar is important and a great opportunity. It will benefit CAF's club football and African football in general.”
Organised in collaboration with CAF, the seminar is being held in Casablanca on 3 and 4 August 2016 with 14 member associations in attendance as well as representatives of clubs and players’ associations.
“The club licensing system has already been widely adopted across Africa,” says James Johnson, Head of the Professional Football Department at FIFA. “Through these seminars, we are seeking to further extend the system by transferring knowledge and sharing best practices both from within and outside of Africa in order to professionalise club football and grow the game on the continent. These efforts are fundamental to FIFA’s mission.”
Club licensing is designed to improve club football by targeting key areas such as best practice club governance and youth football, and by creating a safer and more vibrant experience in stadiums for fans. Clubs in Africa will need to comply with certain standards in order to participate in CAF club competitions.
FIFA is working and consulting with a wide range of football stakeholders on the implementation of club licensing. “As a joint venture involving associations, clubs and players, we can make club licensing a success story for African football,” says Mohamed Harouane, Secretary General of Union Marocaine des Footballeurs Professionnels (FIFPro Member), who is also attending the seminar.
“Proper club management benefits each stakeholder involved in football. Club licensing ensures the input of external experts and improves conditions on and off the pitch. It is therefore highly welcomed by the players.”
The member associations attending this seminar are Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Djibouti, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Burundi, Central African Republic and Rwanda.
Further information about club licensing is available right here on FIFA.com.