The League Management Company (LMC) has invited clubs participating in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to submit their respective licensing applications, which is a compulsory requirement for all clubs intending to participate in the 2020/21 NPFL season.
According to the LMC, incorporated for all clubs taking part in Nigeria’s first division league, the move is further to a notification it sent to the clubs dated August 6, 2020.
According to reports, the development follows the removal of the restriction on football activities by the Federal Government through the COVID 19 Task Force, the league body wrote to the clubs providing guidelines for license application in line with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) licensing regulations/conditions.
An action plan and checklist to guide the clubs through the process indicates that the LMC and the clubs will hold virtual meetings from Wednesday, September 9 to 18 to assist the clubs on how to carry out documentation for licensing.
The Clubs are expected to, as from September 18th, begin submission of licensing applications with supporting documents, while spot-checking of the clubs by the First Instant Body (FIB) under the jurisdictions of the LMC, to verify submissions made, holds from September 21-26.
According to the action plan, a meeting of the FIB has been scheduled for September 30, with the outcome of its decisions released on October 2, while clubs that may not be satisfied with any decisions of the FIB are to file appeals not later than October 7.
The Appeals Body (AB), under the jurisdictions of the NFF, is to meet on October 12 to rule on possible appeals that may be filed and release the decisions on October 14. The Final decisions will be communicated to CAF by October 16 in line with CAF regulations.
Chairman of LMC, Shehu Dikko, who is also a member of the CAF Organising Committee for Inter-Clubs Competitions and Clubs Licensing Management, enjoined the clubs to take advantage of the week-long virtual meetings to prepare all necessary documentation to qualify for licensing.
Licensing criteria will cover Financial, Legal, Administrative, Infrastructure, Commercial, Health and Safety, Personnel, among others.
The NFF Club Licensing regulation/conditions have been in place since 2014 and has seen a gradual/phased application in line with the best international practices as the seasons progressed.