Some local football organizations under the guidance of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) were last Saturday brought up to speed with the processes involved in licensing a football club, as laid down by the sport’s governing body – FIFA.
But they have until 2019 to have their houses in order and meet the set criteria.
Among the key areas of adherence of the clubs are sporting, infrastructure, personnel and administrative, legal and financial.
It is mandatory that clubs have a youth development programme in which they promote fair-play. Also all licensed clubs must have safe, comfortable stadiums for fans, families and media, along with training facilities.
Additionally, clubs must have qualified coaches and medical staff and professional, well educated management.
Also legally, clubs must adhere to international statutes, while ownership must be transparent and fair and clubs must have in place independent auditing of club finances.
These points were driven home at a meeting last Saturday by the national organization’s technical director Keith Ollivierre and the second vice-president Marvin Fraser.
Acknowledging that everything set out by FIFA is not cast in stone, Fraser noted that there will be tweaking to meet the Vincentian situation.
“It is a four-year span to ensure that every CONCACAF member in St Vincent and the Grenadines, we have until 2019 to show that all of our clubs which play in our competitions have a licence… Then comes the next set of phases,” Fraser informed.
In outlining the stages, Fraser revealed that clubs have to apply for licensing status from the SVGFF, but must show over time that they are working on meeting the criteria.
He, however, said that the SVGFF must establish a club licensing manager, along with an appeals committee, before clubs can begin to apply for their licences.
Fraser stated that a manual prepared by CONCACAF to suit St Vincent and the Grenadines’ context will be utilized as the steering wheel towards the final conformation to the local conditions.
“There is no so-called top club when it comes to the licensing process; you have to fulfil the requirements … One of the requirements is that you must be thinking future…” Fraser reiterated.
Fraser projected that it might be possible that some current local football units may have to collapse and merge in order to qualify to exist as a bona-fide football club.
Meanwhile, Ollivierre said that the baby steps would see clubs meeting the minimum local requirements, which would include basic information such as a home field for home matches and training, and contact information – postal and email and geographic address base.
He reconfirmed that whilst football teams/clubs here do not own any playing facility, the SVGFF can facilitate written permission from the National Sports Council on their behalf, in this regard.
Ollivierre told those present that Fraser and another person will soon be attending another club licensing workshop overseas, and on their return, timelines will be given to the teams/clubs to begin to tick off their requirements on their checklist.
At present, there are 31 active football units affiliated to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation.(RT)