Abuja - In pursuant to FIFA directives and in particular CAF
circular dated November 26th 2013, on Clubs' Licensing System, the Nigeria Football
Federation (NFF) has adopted the Clubs Licensing Regulations as from January 31
By these directives from FIFA and CAF, it is a mandatory for
all (state) Federations to adopt and implement the Clubs Licensing System for
all clubs participating in National and confederation clubs competitions by the
The NFF Clubs Licensing Regulations is the basic document
for Club Licensing System in Nigeria, through which different members of the football
family aim to promote common principles in the world of football such as
sporting value, transparency in their finances, ownership and control of clubs,
players and coaches welfare, and the credibility and integrity of club
The Mandatory Clubs Licensing System has the following
overall objectives: Safe - guarding the credibility of club competitions, improving
the level of professionalism within the football family, promoting sporting
values in accordance with principles of fair play as well as safe and secure
match environment, promoting transparency in finances of clubs, promoting
transparency in the ownership of clubs, promoting transparency in the control
The criteria which the clubs shall comply with in order to
obtain a License under the NFF Clubs Licensing Regulations are in six categories
which include: Sporting Criteria, Infrastructure Criteria, Personnel and
Administrative Criteria, Legal Criteria, Financial Criteria: and Business,
Commercial and Promotion Criteria.
In line with FIFA regulations on Club Licensing, the
criteria outlined above are graded into three. The different grades are as
follows: "A" Criteria - MUST: If a Club does not fulfil any
"A" criteria, then it can not be granted a License to enter
Confederations/National Club Competitions.
"B" Criteria - MUST: If a Club does not fulfil any
"B" Criteria, then it is sanctioned as specified in the NFF Club
Licensing Regulations but may still receive a license to enter
Confederation/National Club Competitions.
'"C" Criteria - BEST PRACTICE: "C"
Criteria are best practices recommendations. Non-fulfilment of any "C"
Criteria does not lead to any sanction or to the refusal of license.
The NFF Club Licensing Regulations, which shall be operated
on an annual basis, shall apply to: All Premier League Clubs, All Pro-League
Clubs, Clubs that qualify for CAF Competitions notwithstanding the class or division
they play in, in the National Leagues.
In accordance to CAF Circular, the operation of Clubs
Licensing Regulations for all its members shall commence by November 2014 and countries
that do not comply with the regulations may not be allowed to participate in
National and CAF Club Competitions as from 2015 Season.
The CAF directive requires implementation of the Licensing
Regulations in two phases from January 2014 to November 30th 2014 as follows: Phase
1: Comprising four steps to be completed
by January 31st 2014 as follows: Insertion of the Statutory Clauses adopting
Club Licensing System in the Federation Statutes, Establishment of National
Club Licensing Regulations, Creation of decision-making bodies i.e. The First
Instance Body (FIB) and the Appeal Body (AB) as stipulated in CAF Regulations, Organisation
of Seminar for Premier League Clubs
Phase 2: Expiring November 2014 by which time the Federation
must have completed all process required to ensure that the Club Licensing Regulations
become operational. This includes organisation of national seminars and
rendering the decision-making bodies operational and undergo the necessary work
in order to permit the issuance of Licenses to Clubs based on the 6 regulatory
The NFF has so far concluded the First Phase of the
Licensing Regulations as required by CAF and has thus approved the statutory decision-making
bodies as part thereof.
The NFF has, in line with FIFA and CAF Club Licensing
Regulations, delegated the operation of the Club Licensing System under the NFF
Club Licensing Regulations to the League Management Company (LMC) which shall
constitute the First Instance Body (FIB) whilst the NFF shall constitute the
Appeals Body (AB).
To this end, the following are the Members of the First
Instance Body (FIB): Shehu Dikko (Chairman), Barrister Sampson Ebomhe (Secretary),
and the members are Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, Salihu Abubakar, and Barrister
The Appeals Body (AB) has Barrister A. U. Mustapha as
Chairman, with Barrister Okey Obi as Secretary, while the members are Mohammed
Sanusi, Abu Ali, Cyril Dum Wite, Denen Ikya and Kunle Elebute.
The First Instance Body (FIB) shall decide on whether a
License shall be granted an applicant on the basis of documents provided and in
accordance with the provisions of the NFF Club Licensing Regulations at the
submission deadline set by the LMC.
The Appeals Body (AB) shall decide on appeals submitted in
writing and make a final and binding decision on whether a license shall be granted.
The public presentation of NFF Club Licensing Regulations
2014/2015 and the formal inauguration of the two Decision-Making Bodies will be
done in due course.
The Clubs Licensing System shall formally become operational
in Nigeria as from November 30, 2014 and only clubs that meet the requirements
will participate in any National/Confederation Club Competitions as from
All Clubs are therefore enjoined to work and cooperate with
the LMC to ensure the smooth implementation process of the NFF Clubs Licensing Regulations
from February 2014 to November 30, 2014.
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