HomeOpinion & AnalysisZifa must take club licensing seriously

Zifa must take club licensing seriously

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IN The last two weeks, Premier Soccer League coaches’ qualifications have dominated the sports media landscape with Zifa technical director Takaendesa Jongwe saying only gaffers with Caf A badges will be allowed to sit on the bench this season.

NewsDay Editorial

This, according to Jongwe, will be part of Club Licensing Regulations.

He could be right and wrong at the same time.

While qualifications for coaches are a basic, Jongwe must be advised that the Caf A badge is not a handout that can be obtained in days or weeks. It is the highest qualification the Confederation of African Football (Caf) confers to the highest performers during examinations.

This means there is a certain level of skill that is attached to the Caf A Licence and coaches cannot just walk in and out of a class in two weeks with the qualification.

Thus, it becomes nonsensical that, 12 weeks before the start of the new PSL season, Jongwe, in his wisdom or lack of it, is demanding that all 16 PSL coaches must produce the qualification. There is no problem with standardisation, but there is a problem with the way it is handled.

Jongwe must understand that the coaching licence is a process and coaches cannot be expected to have it in the next three months, otherwise it will lose value and meaning. At the end of the day, the benefits that clubs must derive from this course could go to waste because of the way it is done.

It should be to impart knowledge and not just to ensure that they sit on the bench. Jongwe seems to have forgotten that Club Licensing is not all about coaches. It includes, on a higher level, clubs and administrators.

This is where Zifa must come in. While Jongwe is busy threatening clubs and coaches, Zifa, as the licensing authority must be reminded of a few facts.

That Club Licensing Regulations are the basic working documents for member associations that incorporate the minimum requirements and guidelines for every criterion for compliance as a basis for the issuance of a licence to any club.

According to Caf, every club must fulfil requirements for a licence and these are divided into five categories (sporting, infrastructure, personnel and administrative, legal and financial), with each category being split into three grades A-C (mandatory and best-practice recommendation).

For instance, the new Ghana PSL season begins on January 18, and the first thing they did last September was to conduct a Club Licensing workshop for all clubs in the top flight and second tier division. If Jongwe and Zifa can push for such a move, they will get all the support they require. This focus on coaches is wrong. That is exactly why we had leadership wrangles at Chiredzi FC last season because the basics were ignored.

So clubs must not panic about Jongwe’s avowals. There is no need for alarm and despondency otherwise he should be charged with bringing the game of football into disrepute.

Remember there are many corporates involved in the game and they cannot afford to wake up in the morning to uninformed decisions by people like Jongwe.
Delta Beverages, BancABC, Mimosa Mining Company, Hwange Colliery Company, Tongaat Hullet, Harare City Council, Airforce of Zimbabwe, Chicken Inn, Metallon Gold Zimbabwe, ZPC and the Prison Services sponsor various teams in the league.

They have invested a lot in football hence they deserve respect and recognition in the way decisions with huge implications are made.

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