The Chairman of the FUFA Club Licensing Committee Rogers Mulindwa has witnessed baby steps taken in professionalising club football in Uganda. Many times, the Club Licensing Committee faces resistance from stakeholders during the off season when the Licensing exercise pens up in preparation for the new season.
This year, the Club Licensing Committee and FUFA Secretariat rolled out the exercise as early as March with internal preparations.
The FUFA Communications team caught up with Mulindwa and shares his experience and thoughts about the Club Licensing exercise this season.
Mulindwa on Club Licensing exercise this season
It has been a very successful Club Licensing exercise for the season 2022/23.
We have achieved quite a lot. This is the eleventh year since we started Club Licensing in Uganda and of course our clubs have benefited a lot amidst challenges.
Mulindwa on Compliance by clubs
Club Licensing is a tool for both development and benchmarking of professional football. Here we expect our clubs to comply with some criteria and we begin holding consultative meetings with Club owners, discuss with them, the road map is issued then they have to submit the requirements and the First Instance Body has to convene.
Mulindwa on Clubs getting Licenses
Clubs that succeed get licenses to compete in FUFA Competitions then those that do not meet the standards are left out but with an opportunity to appeal to the FUFA Appeals Committee which can either grant them permission or uphold the decision of the Club Licensing Committee.
Mulindwa on number of teams to play in the Uganda Premier League this season
This season, we shall ave 15 teams competing in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League for the first time in the recent past because one of the members Kyetume FC did not meet the requirements.
Mulindwa on the success story of Club Licensing
Of course we have registered a number of successes and one of those is in the area of governance where clubs have appreciated the importance of having streamlined administration and proper running of the team.
We have also improved on the stadia. The playing surfaces look better for most of the teams, dressing rooms are better among others.
There is also improvement in the discipline on the technical bench since we introduced the bench permits, restricting the number of people that sit on the bench.
In the area of capacity building, we have had many people go for training. For instance we have many coaches who have enrolled for CAF License A and B. This is a standard we set that head coaches must have CAF A coaching licenses while the assistants must have a minimum of CAF B. However this season, we shall allow CAF B holders for the Head coach and assistant.
For Youth Football, we have been able to register academies and we believe that will help in nurturing of young players the right way.
Mulindwa on the Challenges faced during Club Licensing
One of the biggest challenges we have is that a good number of teams still believe in changing technical and administration staff. You find that a club has a new coach every season and that definitely hinders continuity.
Additionally, some clubs are failing to meet the minimum requirements for instance having at least 18 players on the FUFA Connect System to be granted a license. .
Mulindwa on the future of Club Licensing
Our focus after this is to have continuous spot checks during the season, making sure that clubs do not work outside the set standards.
We are also going to continue with the FUFA Club Pro Agenda where constant interface with the clubs will be made.
Then we shall do a review after the season to know where the successes and challenges have been and how best we can work ahead of the next season.
I want to congratulate clubs like Vipers SC, She Corporate FC, Vipers SC and Jinja North United that have successfully undergone the Club Licensing exercise and this tool is not a punishment but rather aimed at adding quality to our League.
The 5 Key Pillars of FUFA Club Licensing
- Administration and Personnel.
- Structure and Legal.