PSL's new club licensing rules come into effect in the coming weeks

Hlompho Kekana of Mamelodi Sundowns and Ntsikelelo Nyauza of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

The Premier Soccer League’s new club licensing rules come into effect in the coming weeks with clubs having to comply across a number of fronts if they are to be allowed to play in the top two tiers of the league next season.

Criteria around financing‚ medical‚ security‚ stadium‚ academy and coaching will now be a lot stricter for the 32 teams of the Absa Premiership and the National First Division.

Clubs that have had several years in which to work towards compliance must submit a raft of documentation to prove they are properly organised entities.

Among the things they must prove is that there are proper medical structures for their players‚ certification for their stadia‚ junior structures so that boys can play at age group level and financial means to keep the clubs going.

But what might be most public result of the licensing process is an audit of coaches in the league and whether they have the correct qualifications.

The club licensing dictates that all coaches must have either a Confederation of African Football or UEFA A license to be able to sit on the bench.

It will bring an end to the days of ‘flight-by-night’ coaches‚ jumping up and down on the sidelines and add some gravitas to the trade.

All clubs will be audit by a ‘first instance body’ that ensures adherence to the PSL’s licensing manual and issues certification.

This is an independent body‚ whose members include former SAFA president Molefi Oliphant and former PSL chief executive officer Zola Majavu.

The four clubs that participated in African club competition this year – Bidvest Wits‚ Cape Town City‚ Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United – have already been issued with their licenses.

They had to do so in order to compete in the African Champions League and the African Confederation Cup.

CAF have already said that the PSL’s licensing requirements are more stringent than that of African football’s governing body and it is “the toughest anywhere in Africa‚” officials told SowetanLIVE on Thursday.

The PSL must still announce the cut-off date for compliance but is expected to be ready by the time clubs return for pre-season training in late June.

Club licensing was introduced by FIFA several years ago to ensure that teams are solvent and do not fold midway through a season‚ plus also have all the correct professional structures and academy opportunities.

Countries have been given considerable time to put all the requirements in place.

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