ZIFA have set the bar higher for Premiership teams this year with the clubs now required to meet the minimum club licensing requirements before they are registered to participate in the 2017 season. The league this year is set to have 18 teams following a resolution to promote four from the Division One leagues this year. This is expected to set the tone for the new season of the top flight with all the clubs being formally invited to apply to ZIFA to be licensed for the 2017 season.
The association’s spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela, who has been appointed the Club Licensing Manager, yesterday said they will soon publish the pre-requisite conditions for the clubs to be licensed.
ZIFA have since set up a Club Licensing decision making, First Instance Body, which would be chaired by ZIFA executive committee member Piraishe Mabhena, who will be deputised by ZIFA Northern Region Division One chairperson Willard Mangenyavana.
ZIFA councillors Samkeliso Silengane, Nobioth Magwizi, Dennis Tshuma, Phithias Shoko and Gilbert Saika are the committee members.
The newly-established committee met over the weekend for a workshop where they came up with a framework for the licensing of the PSL clubs. Club licensing seeks to promote professionalism in football by adhering to five pillars of club licensing — personnel and administrative, financial, infrastructure and legal.
The clubs are required to meet the minimum requirements of club licensing. There are three categories under the system and clubs which fall under category A means they would have failed to meet the minimum requirements and will not be licensed at all.
Those that fall in category B can be licensed, but the committee can decide to sanction them. Category C falls under the club licensing institutes of the best practise.
For example under sporting criteria, each club is expected to have an approved youth development plan which is a must for a club to be licensed. While a club can still be licensed when it is expected to have provision of medical care for players, but fails to do so.
However, the club will be sanctioned for not meeting all the requirements, but still licensed.
Under the Infrastructure pillar for example every stadium should be certified, which is a must, but a club without proper signage to dressing rooms, media tribune among other things can still be licensed, but will also be sanctioned. Whereas under the best practises, clubs are expected to have bays with individual covered seats and other facilities like Internet provision.
“The clubs will have to meet criteria to be licensed and soon we will be publishing pre-requisite conditions for clubs to be licensed,” said Gwesela.