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GFA Club Licensing Board Chairman Dr. Kwame Baah Nuako opens up on proposed additions to regulations

2 months ago
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The Chairman of the Club Licensing Committee Dr. Kwame Baah Nuako has opened up on some aspects of the proposed club licensing regulations which will soon be approved by the Executive Council of the GFA for implementation.

The Committee and the Licensing Manager during the course of last season reviewed the current regulations and have made several recommendations to the executive council for approval.

According to the Chairman, the new regulations seeks to adopt a more proactive and compliance based licensing regime which will reap benefit for both the clubs and the regulator.

Sharing highlights of some of the major recommendations to GFA News, he touched on some of the critical areas that clubs and stakeholders must take note of;

LEGAL CRITERIA

MEMBERSHIP OF THE GFA

The chairman mentioned that in the new regime, “the Licence Applicant must be a recognised member or be a Legal entity under control of a recognised member of the Ghana Football Association. The Licence Applicant must fulfil the conditions of membership defined in the GFA statutes”. He further added that; “For the avoidance of doubt a license applicant who does not acquire a GFA membership certificate prior to the start of the Licensing Period will not be entertained”.

FINANCIAL CRITERIA

Annual Budget

The chairman emphasised that as part of the new regime, clubs are to submit their annual / seasonal budget for review.

NO OVERDUE PAYABLES TOWARDS FOOTBALL CLUBS - TRANSFER ACTIVITIES

“A new but very important addition to the new regime is that every licensee must prove that it has no overdue payables towards football clubs at 31 March of the year in which the GFA /CAF club competitions commence. If a licensee has overdue payables as at 31 March of the year in which the GFA /CAF club competitions commence, it shall have a grace period of 2 months to prove that by the following 31 May, such overdue payables have been fully settled, deferred by mutual agreement with the creditor, are still pending before a competent authority and without a final and binding decision or are subject to a not obviously unfounded dispute submitted to a competent authority” he ended.

He further explained that payables in this regard “are those amounts due to football clubs as a result of transfer activities, including any amount due upon fulfilment of certain conditions; training compensation and solidarity contributions as defined in the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players; and any joint and/or several liability decided by a competent body according to FIFA and CAF / GFA statutes and regulations, for the termination of a contract by a player”

 

No Overdue Payables towards - Employees

In furtherance “Every licensee must prove that it has no overdue payables towards current and former employees as at 31 March of the year in which the GFA / CAF club competitions commence as per article FIN. If the licensee has overdue payables as at 31 March of the year in which the GFA / CAF club competitions commence, it shall have a grace period of 2 months to prove that by the following 31 May, such overdue payables have been fully settled, deferred by mutual agreement with the creditor, are still pending before a competent authority and without a final and binding decision or are subject to a not obviously unfounded dispute submitted to a competent authority”

No Overdue Payables - Social/Tax Authorities

“In addition every licensee must prove that it has no overdue payables towards social/tax authorities as at 31 March of the year in which the GFA / CAF club competitions commence. If the licensee has overdue payables as at 31 March of the year that the GFA / CAF club competitions commence, it shall have a grace period of 2 months to prove that by the following 31 May, such overdue payables have been fully settled, deferred by mutual agreement with the creditor, are still pending before a competent authority and without a final and binding decision or are subject to a not obviously unfounded dispute submitted to a competent authority”.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND PERSONNEL CRITERIA

CLUB LICENSING OFFICER

“The new licensing regime recommends that each licence applicant appoint a club licensing officer. This person may be a full-time or part-time employee or a volunteer. The club licensing officer should be responsible for the licence applicant’s fulfilment of Club Licensing criteria”.

MEDIA AND DIGITAL OFFICER

Dr. Kwame Baah – Nuakoh, a renowned media expert also added that due to the evolution of new media in the digital age, another inclusion is that the licence applicant must appoint a Media and Digital Officer to be in charge of its media matters, who can be either a person working in the club’s administration or an external partner mandated by the club through a written contract. The Media Officer must hold as a minimum of either Diploma in journalism OR a Proven experience and expertise in journalism and/or digital media, he added.

MATCH STEWARDS

As an addition to the already existing safety and security officer is the introduction of a compulsory  safety  and  security organisation for home matches through the engagements of stewards. The licence applicant may employ the stewards or conclude a written agreement with the stadium owner or a security company providing the stewards.

GROUNDS MAN

The licence applicant must have appointed a grounds man being responsible for maintenance of the field of play and the playing area. The grounds man must have undergone a training programme approved by the GFA. The person can be either a full time / part time employee.

SUPPORTER LIAISON OFFICER

Considering the challenges, the football ecosystem have faced in recent years, the chairman also added that it was important that The licence applicant appoints a liaison officer to act as the key contact point for supporters. The supporter liaison officer must regularly meet with the club’s management and must collaborate with the security officer and other relevant personnel on all-related matters.

COACHING CONVENTION

The chairman also highlighted that the technical directorate has made certain changes to the coaching convention for implementation. According to the Chairman, the new coaching convention incorporated in to the new licensing regulation are as follows;

HEAD COACH OF FIRST TEAM / MANAGER

CAF INTER – CLUB

CAF A /PRO or an equivalent from another confederation

PREMIER DIVISION

CAF A /PRO or an equivalent from another confederation

DIVISION ONE

CAF B or an equivalent from another confederation

CAF WOMEN’S / PREMIER

CAF B or an equivalent from another confederation

REGIONAL MALE DIVISION TWO/WOMEN’S FIRST DIVISION

CAF C or an equivalent from another confederation

REGIONAL MALE DIVISION THREE / JUVENILE LEVEL

License D

ASSISTANT COACH OF FIRST TEAM

CAF INTER – CLUB

CAF A / B or an equivalent from another confederation

PREMIER DIVISION

CAF A  or an equivalent from another confederation

DIVISION ONE

CAF B or an equivalent from another confederation

CAF WOMEN’S / PREMIER

CAF B or an equivalent from another confederation

REGIONAL MALE DIVISION TWO/WOMEN’S FIRST DIVISION

CAF C or an equivalent from another confederation

REGIONAL MALE DIVISION THREE / JUVENILE LEVEL

License D

INFRASTRUCTURE CRITERIA

The chairman noticed that this criterion which has subconsciously been tagged as the most important aspect of the club licensing system ought to have been improved with regards to the graduation of requirements for the various levels of our football. In this vein, it has been recommended that the various requirements which has been developed into a new GFA Stadiums Regulations are grouped into categories as follows;

CATEGORY 1;

  1. Women’s Division One League Clubs
  2. Lower Divisional Leagues Club

Major Highlights

Field of play (as per the IFAB laws of the game)

  • The field of play must be smooth and level
  • The stadium must be equipped with either a natural grass or artificial turf
  • it must meet all the requirements of the national legislation in force
  • Its surface must be green and marked in white
  • Length: Minimum 95m and maximum 110m
  • Width: Minimum 64m and maximum 75m

Team Dressing Rooms

- availability of well-equipped changing area.

CATEGORY 2;

  1. Women’s Premier League Clubs
  2. Women’s FA Cup
  3. National Division One League Clubs
  4. Men’s FA CUP Pre lims to Quarter Final

MAJOR ADDITIONS TO EXISTING REQUIREMENTS

  • Teams substitutes and match officials benches

Two (2) covered benches at pitch level; Each with seating room for at least fourteen (14) persons and positioned at least five (5) meter from the touchline.

One (1) covered bench at pitch level with seating room for four (4) match officials

  • Player Tunnel
  1. Each stadium must have a Player Tunnel; it shall be a minimum of four (4) metres wide and a minimum of two point four (2.4) metres high.
  1. The point where the Participating Players and Match Officials enter the playing area shall be protected by means of a fireproof telescopic tunnel and shall extend into the playing area far enough to prevent the risk of injury to the match participants caused by objects thrown by spectators.
  1. Such telescopic tunnels shall be capable of being extended or closed quickly so that they may be used during the match when a player is entering or leaving the field, without causing a lengthy viewing obstruction. The Tunnel must not be in between the VIP stands. All Tunnels must be either on top of the VIP Stands or at point where there are no spectators stands beside it.
  • Teams And GFA / CAF Officials
  1. Teams dressing rooms

(2) Team Dressing Rooms

(3) Showers

(3) Individual seated toilets

-      Pitch Perimeter;

There must be separation of the spectators from the playing area by way of an appropriate fence / wall / barrier to prevent invasion of a minimum of 10 feet tall from the ground.

  • Safe Zone

The stadium must guarantee direct, private and secure access for the teams from their dressing rooms to the playing area. It must ensure their safe arrival at/departure from the stadium. The teams and officials must have a dedicated entry / exit gate into the stadium away from spectators’ access.

  • Parking Areas

Parking space for a minimum of (2) buses must be available for the teams and officials.

This parking space must be located in a safe and secure area in the immediate vicinity of the players’ and officials’ areas (SAFE ZONE).

A dedicated, safe and secure parking area for VIP and VVIP Guests.

- Spectator capacity and attendance

The Stadium must have a capacity of at least (1000) seats

The stadium must receive a safety certificate from the concerned local authorities in which they will set the permitted capacity for the stadium together with the detailed terms and conditions with which the stadium management must comply in order to operate the stadium at its permitted capacity.

The stadium must have an EXTERNAL FENCING (BRICK WALL) within which all entry gates are situated.

CATEGORY 3;

Premier League Clubs

Men’s FA Cup ¼ Final and Final

Women’s CAF Inter-Club Competition

MAJOR ADDITIONS / HIGHLIGHTS

  • Teams substitutes and match officials benches

Two (2) covered benches at pitch level; Each with seating room for at least fourteen (21) persons and positioned at least five (5) meter from the touchline.

One (1) covered bench at pitch level with seating room for four (4) match officials

  • Player Tunnel
  1. Each stadium must have a Player Tunnel; it shall be a minimum of four (4) metres wide and a minimum of two point four (2.4) metres high.
  1. The point where the Participating Players and Match Officials enter the playing area shall be protected by means of a fireproof telescopic tunnel and shall extend into the playing area far enough to prevent the risk of injury to the match participants caused by objects thrown by spectators.
  1. Such telescopic tunnels shall be capable of being extended or closed quickly so that they may be used during the match when a player is entering or leaving the field, without causing a lengthy viewing obstruction. The Tunnel must not be in between the VIP stands. All Tunnels must be either on top of the VIP Stands or at point where there are no spectators stands beside it.
  • Teams And GFA / CAF Officials

Teams Dressing Rooms

(2) Team Dressing Rooms

(4) Showers

(4) Individual seated toilets

(2) Urinals

Bathroom Sink

(25) Seating and lockers

Massage table

Tactical board (white board/flip chart with pens)

Hot and Cold Water

Good ventilation or air-conditioning

A fridge

-      Pitch Perimeter;

There must be separation of the spectators from the playing area by way of an appropriate fence / wall / barrier to prevent invasion of a minimum of 10 feet tall from the ground.

  • Safe Zone

The stadium must guarantee direct, private and secure access for the teams from their dressing rooms to the playing area. It must ensure their safe arrival at/departure from the stadium. The teams and officials must have a dedicated entry / exit gate into the stadium away from spectators’ access.

  • Parking Areas

Parking space for a minimum of (2) buses must be available for the teams and officials.

This parking space must be located in a safe and secure area in the immediate vicinity of the players’ and officials’ areas (SAFE ZONE).

A dedicated, safe and secure parking area for VIP and VVIP Guests.

- Spectator capacity and attendance

The Stadium must have a capacity of at least (5000) seats

The stadium must receive a safety certificate from the concerned local authorities in which they will set the permitted capacity for the stadium together with the detailed terms and conditions with which the stadium management must comply in order to operate the stadium at its permitted capacity.

The stadium must have an EXTERNAL FENCING (BRICK WALL) within which all entry gates are situated.

VIP AND VVIP Seats

The VIP and VVIP seats must be covered, in the grandstand and as close to the halfway line as possible, between the two penalty areas

A dedicated lounge area must be available for the VIP Guests

A dedicated lounge area must be available for the VVIP guests

Televisions directly connected to the feed of the OB Van (Not showing any replays)

Dedicated entry /exit into the VIP seating areas

Dedicated entry/exit gate for the VIP/VVIP into the stadium

SPORTING CRITERIA

Youth Teams

The chairman added that the licence applicant must have at least the following youth teams within its legal entity or affiliated to its legal entity:

  1. At least one youth boys’ team within the age range of 15 to 17(U-17);
  1. At least one youth boys’ team within the age range of 10 to 13(U-13)

Medical Care of Players

  1. The Licence applicants shall provide all players registered in the club with full access to medical support services, in accordance with the relevant provisions defined by the GFA in line with the GFA statutes. These shall include, but are not limited to the following:
    1. yearly medical examination for all its players eligible to play for its first squad, Evidence of registration of all players on the NHIS scheme.

Women’s Teams

He further added that as a B and C criteria for the Premier and Division One league clubs, The licence applicant (Male clubs) must have at minimum a women’s first team participating in a competition sanctioned by the GFA. To comply with this requirement, the licence applicant may:

  1. Operate the women’s team(s) itself or
  1. Have a written agreement with another entity who operates the team(s).
  1. The agreement should include the financial and sporting contributions made by the applicant to the Women’s Team.

The new regulations which seeks to improve the licensing regime is at its final stages of approval and shall be implemented from the 2021/22 licensing season which begins on Monday August 23, 2021.

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