The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has announced that clubs in the 1st and 2nd division teams that deliberately refuse to write the football house by Wednesday, July 17, 2014 about committing themselves to CAF’s Club Licensing System (CLS) will be dropped immediately.
The LFA says the position of be clubs will be declared vacant and subsequently filled.
Secretary General Alphonso Armah said yesterday that compulsory fill-in of spaces in the 1st and 2nd division is to uphold the revised statutes.
He said key among the requirements are: youth team (ages 10-14 years), affidavit of ownership of clubs, stadium, practice pitch (at least up to three clubs could join), office space, proof of financial capacity, and a technical director (minimum high school graduate).
Armah also noted that the LFA has agreed to use the Antoinette Tubman Stadium for all applied teams and stressed that 1st division to cover 50% of the key requirements, while 2nd division should do 30%.
“These registration requirements serve as a prelude to the implementation of the LFA Club Licensing whose compliance for the participation of LFA 2014/2015 League,” Armah said.
He added: “The decision is to improve the standard of football in the country in pursuant to FIFA and CAF directives.”
Armah indicated that FIFA in its Circular No. 1128 of December 28, 2007 explained the Club Licensing Regulations as the “basic working document for the club licensing system, through which the different members of the football family can promote common principles in football.”
He intoned that FIFA seeks to ensure that clubs participating in any competition fulfill minimum standard requirements and the regulations set forth by FIFA took effect from January 1, 2008.
“For CAF, the 2012/13 season was slated as the take-off date but in a recent circular, the continental body granted a grace period and set a new date of November 30, 2014,” Armah said. “The circular mandated all its national affiliates including the LFA to confirm in writing by January 30, 2013 that the licensing regulation has been adopted by its congress which we did and subsequently adopted in our statute on January 18, 2014.”
Meanwhile, some stakeholders who begged not to be identified reminded the LFA to take into consideration the country’s poor economy and be flexible in the implementation of the CLS.
They noted that there should be a deferment and the LFA should meet CAF to set-up a role-map in achieving the Club Licensing System or else most clubs would pull out and hundreds of youths will lose their jobs.
They said further that the LFA, like in Nigeria, should set up a body or committee which would be responsible to decide on whether a license is granted an applicant on the basis of the ‘final approved documents provided.’
They also requested a committee, called the Appeals Body, which would be responsible to decide on appeals submitted in writing and make a final and binding decision on whether a license shall be granted.
“It is for this purpose that governments exist to make rules and ensure that the rules are complied with. Every profession, business, social group and competition have their qualification thresholds and conditions for retaining membership,” they argued. “To participate in any sport, the organising body sets standards to be met by either nations, clubs or individuals and only those who are committed to abiding by the set regulations are admitted and retained. It is same for football.”