A document issued by FIFA, the governing body for world football, was disseminated to the SKNFA through the Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) the body with responsibility for football in the region.
The document, which was formally sent to the local association on the 15th January, seeks to inform the clubs and associations of “The Club Licensing System (that) will introduce a set of minimum criteria into national and continental competitions from 2015 and 2016, respectively”.
“FIFA’s Club Licensing System is based on five key criteria: sporting, personnel and administrative, financial, infrastructure and legal. These criteria aim to safeguard the credibility and integrity of club competitions while improving the level of professionalism within the football family and promoting transparency in the finances, ownership and control of clubs. Essentially, the club licensing system is a football development tool that will raise the level of club football, both on and off the pitch,” the release stated.
Consequently, FIFA has mandated that all member associations adopt the club licensing system, in their respective countries by the deadline set by their Confederation.
“In our case, St. Kitts and Nevis, CONCACAF has set the start of the 2015-2016 football season as our target date for full implementation of the club licensing system. Only the clubs that fulfill the requirements of the criteria set out in the regulations will be eligible to participate in the 2015-16 Premier and Division One leagues.
“The SKNFA has been preparing member clubs for this eventuality. This was done gradually by setting certain criteria for participation under our rules and regulations. These include: All clubs to have a qualified head coach, qualified assistant coach, youth team, grassroots and women’s team, club’s constitution, financial statements, annual meetings, etc.
The statement continued, “We accept that the implementation of club licensing in St. Kitts and Nevis will come with challenges. Therefore, the SKNFA is committed to working closely with each club to ensure that we all are able to meet the deadline together. We encourage the presidents and secretaries of member clubs to be the agents of change, the catalysts for the transformation of football in St. Kitts and Nevis. In the coming weeks and months the SKNFA will roll out a comprehensive plan for the implementation of the club licensing system for the 2015-2016 football season,” the SKNFA disclosed.
Speaking with miyVue.com today, general secretary of the football association Stanley Jacobs stated that the teams would only be able to participate in local competitions once they have signed onto the club licensing programme.
“It is a club licensing programme which will require all clubs to meet the set criteria that would be outlined in the regulations, and once they meet those criteria, they would then be issued a club license, which would make them eligible to participate in local competitions.
“It is a club development tool designed to bring professionalism to the clubs and raise the standard of club administration,” Jacobs pointed out.
However, they are calling on the clubs to give the club licensing initative urgent attention, and they are reminded to communicate with the SKNFA in the eventuality any problems arise.