The dream of having professional football leagues in Kenya is within reach, but what does it truly entail? How can we achieve this goal?

The key lies in having professional clubs, and the way to ensure this is through club licensing.

Club licensing is a regulatory system established by the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) to ensure that football clubs participating in CAF competitions meet specific standards and criteria encompassing sporting, infrastructure, administrative, legal, and financial aspects.

To kickstart this process, a workshop has been organized for the 18 FKF Premier League clubs today, Friday, August 4, 2023, serving as a precursor to the Club Licensing process for the domestic season 2023/24.

The primary objectives of the workshop were to familiarize the clubs with the FKF draft regulations and solicit their feedback on the same.

It comprehensively covered the aspects of Sporting, Infrastructure, Legal, Personal and Administration, Finance, and the Club Licensing Online Platform (CLOP). Additionally, the clubs were sensitized about the potential sanctions in case they fail to meet the licensing criteria.

“We are determined to elevate the standard of our leagues and, by working together, we can ensure our clubs meet the necessary criteria, contributing to our collective objective of achieving a truly professional football league,” remarked FKF CEO Barry Otieno.

He further highlighted the repercussions of a team failing the club licensing process.

“If, for instance, a team fails to meet the club licensing requirements, other teams may refuse to play against them, resulting in walkovers. This, in turn, diminishes the league’s commercial value, posing challenges to its monetization and significantly impacting the entire league,” explained FKF CEO Barry Otieno.

Clubs actively engaged in the workshop, providing their invaluable input to shape the final club licensing regulations.

For Nairobi City Stars CEO Patrick Korir, the enlightenment received during the workshop is instrumental in professionalizing their leagues.

“We have gained invaluable insights on the necessary steps that clubs must take to obtain the club licensing certification, allowing us to compete in the top-tier league. This knowledge is vital as we strive to professionalize our leagues.”

Kenya Police CEO Chris Oguso shared the steps taken by his club to obtain the club licensing certificate.

“We have successfully acquired Kenya Police Bullets FC to represent our women’s football team. Moreover, we have incorporated them into our payroll system and offered them an opportunity to be enlisted in the police force to give them a future after their football careers. Ensuring our players receive their monthly dues is one of our top priorities. In terms of infrastructure, we have the police Sacco stadium and maintain a well-structured secretariat hierarchy.”

He further emphasized the significance of providing medical cover for the players, stating, “When a player sustains an injury, having medical cover is crucial for their recovery process. If well taken care of, it can expedite their return to the field. In contrast, without medical cover, expenses can escalate, and the player’s football journey may be abruptly shortened.”

Clubs will have to meet the mandatory requirements to be able to be given a license to compete in all domestic competitions.

The deadline for clubs to submit documents for their club licensing certificate in the Club Licensing Online Platform (CLOP) will be on Saturday, August 12, 2023, and afterward will be sent to the First Instance Board for reviewing and issuance of certificates.

The club licensing process will also be rolled out to the FKF WPL, and FKF-NSL clubs in due course.

As fronted by World governing body FIFA through respective confederations, Club licensing is designed to improve club football by targeting key areas in club governance and youth football.

Also read: Boost for Nakuru County Primary Schools as FKF Rolls out Women Football Campaign