By Sabelo Gwebu | 2022-06-23
SOCCER – AFTER 11 years without continental football, Mbabane Highlanders will return to the top of the continent’s club football but it will not come any easy.
The Mbabane giants, who boast a record 25 trophies in history to claim the tag of being the ‘country’s most successful club,’ has to register a women team among some of the CAF Club Licensing requirements. Currently, Highlanders do not have a women team and will have to register two junior teams of the ages between 10-14 and 15-21 before they can be given the green light to participate in Africa’s second premier club competition.
The ‘Black Bull’ secured a second place finish in the recently ended season to seal CAF Confederation Cup participation ahead of bitter-sworn rivals Mbabane Swallows. Royal Leopard, on the other hand, will make a return to the premier CAF Champions League after bagging their eighth MTN Premier League title, for the second consecutive season under Edwin Matsebula.
Some of the requirements include a club secretariat that must have available office space to run the club administration and they must appoint a general manager responsible for the running of the team’s daily business. Also, Highlanders are expected to have appointed at least one doctor and one physiotherapist responsible for providing medical support and advice to the first squad as well as doping prevention policy.
The capital city giants are expected to appoint a head of the youth development programme who will be responsible for running the daily business and the technical aspects of the youth sector and hire youth coaches, have at least one coach responsible for the two youth teams
Also, the club is expected to have established a safety and security organisation for home matches through the engagement of the necessary number of stewards, submit a legally valid declaration confirming that it recognises as legally binding the statutes, rules and regulations and decisions of FIFA, CAF, the member association and recognises the exclusive jurisdiction of the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne) for any dispute of international dimension and in particular involving FIFA or CAF.
Regardless of the legal structure of the licence applicant (Highlanders), annual financial statements consisting a balance sheet, profit and loss and notes based on national legislation for moral persons will have to be prepared and audited by independent auditors.
The financial statements must include current assets, cash and cash equivalent, accounts receivable from players’ transfers, accounts receivable from group entities and related parties, among other things.
When reached, Highlanders boss Ally Kgomogwe assured that all the necessary requirements would be met. The preliminary round of the Total Energies CAF Confederation Cup is scheduled for mid-September.
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