Inter Milan vice-president and former Argentine star Javier Zanetti helped to kick off the first-ever club licensing seminar for member associations in the CONMEBOL region today.
The two-day seminar, organised by FIFA in collaboration with CONMEBOL, is taking place at the Bourbon Hotel in Asuncion, Paraguay, on 18 and 19 July, and brings together representatives of associations, leagues, clubs and players from across South America.
In his opening address, Zanetti shared some of his experiences at Inter Milan and explained how FIFA is working to implement a global licensing framework that sets minimum standards for clubs in key areas such as stadium safety, fan experience and youth football development.
“As a former team captain and now as the club’s vice president, I’ve seen exactly what goes into making a club successful,” says Zanetti, who became the most capped player ever for Argentina.
“From the coaching staff to the medical treatment, from the club’s management of overdue payables to the commercialisation of its assets – club licensing covers all of these aspects and more, and I am encouraging all participants to implement the system as soon as possible.”
Former Mexican international turned sportscaster Monica González is also attending the seminar, as FIFA continues with its new approach to better engage with football stakeholders.
The aim of the event is to introduce the participants to the positive impact that club licensing will have on shaping the future landscape of South American club football. It also provides an opportunity to discuss, together with key stakeholders, CONMEBOL’s implementation plan established with FIFA’s support.
“It is important for CONMEBOL and its members to continue improving our club competitions,” says President Alejandro Domínguez, who also gave a keynote speech.
“We see the introduction of the club licensing system as the key ingredient to take our competitions to the next level and this seminar is the first step in that direction. We have worked with FIFA to develop an implementation plan that is based on the specific challenges and opportunities in South America. The plan is flexible, so it can be easily adapted to the realities of each country.”
Earlier this year, club licensing seminars were organised in Panama, South Africa and Ethiopia. Additional seminars will follow soon in Morocco, Cameroon and New Zealand as FIFA continues to support the confederations and member associations in implementing the club licensing system across the globe.
“The club licensing system will professionalise club football across key areas, including infrastructure, administration, legal, finance and technical,” added James Johnson, FIFA’s Head of Professional Football.
“For example, clubs may need to ensure their teams have a youth or women’s squad, or that the coaches have an official licence, or that matches are played in safe and secure environments. With the introduction and implementation of club licensing, our long-term goal is clear: to raise the standard of clubs, leagues and national associations around the world.”
Further information about club licensing is available here.