The CAF Clubs Licensing System shall have the undermentioned objectives:

  • Promoting and improving of the quality and the level of all football aspects in Africa;
  • Ensuring that clubs have the appropriate infrastructure, knowledge and application in respect of management and organization;
  • Adapting and improving the clubs sporting infrastructure;
  • Improving the economic and financial capacity of the clubs, through proper corporate governance and control;
  • Ensuring and guaranteeing the continuity of the international competitions of clubs during the season;
  • Allowing the parallel development and comparison amongst clubs by ensuring the necessary compliance in terms of financial, sporting, legal, administrative and infrastructure criteria.


  1. License: A certificate confirming the fulfilment of all the mandatory minimum requirements by the licensee in order to activate the admission procedure for CAF inter-clubs license competitions.
  2. Licensor: The body that operates the licensing system and grants the necessary license.
  3. License applicant: The legal entity that is fully responsible for a football team’s participation in CAF’s inter-clubs competitions.
  4. Licensee (Clubs): The license applicant which has been granted the necessary license by the licensor.
  5. Criteria: Minimum requirements to be fulfilled by the license applicant.
  6. National club licensing regulations (national regulations): The working document which sets out and describes the national club licensing system of a particular country, and which shall include all the minimum requirements of the CAF clubs licensing system, as well as any specific national requirements of the country in question.

Required Criteria:

The criteria described in these CAF regulations are graded into three separate categories:

a) “A” criteria – “MUST”: If the license applicant does not fulfil any “A” criteria requirements, then it cannot be granted a license to enter the CAF inter-clubs competitions.

b) “B” criteria – “MUST”: If the license applicant does not fulfil any “B” criteria required, then it may be subject to sanctions as specified by the licensor but may still qualify to receive a license to enter the CAF inter-clubs competitions.

c) “C” criteria – “BEST PRACTICE”: C criteria are best practice recommendations. These criteria are best practice recommendations and the Non-fulfilment of any ‘C’ criteria may or may not lead to a sanction or the refusal of the necessary license.

CLS 5 Criteria:

  1. Sporting
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Administrative and personnel
  4. Legal
  5. Financial

Implementation Process:

The implementation of the clubs licensing system at the national level shall include but not be limited to the following steps and procedures:

a) The establishment of rules and regulations regarding sanctions to be imposed under the national clubs licensing system;

b) The integration of the minimum criteria necessary as defined in the present regulations;

c) The implementation of decisions necessary for the applicability of the licensing system to the license applicants;

d) The option for the member association to delegate the club licensing system and its responsibilities to its affiliate member (professional / national league).


In General, by now all associations should have already completed the legal framework for the project:

A) Including in their Statutes the 2 statutory clauses relating the Club Licensing in accordance with article 56 of CAF Statutes:

1- The National Association will proceed to the granting of licenses to the clubs according to the club licensing system setting the minimum requirements adopted by CAF for the granting of the license.

2- The said club licensing system includes in particular:

• The Minimal Criteria to be met by the clubs in order to be allowed to take part in CAF competitions.

• The Procedure for granting the license to the clubs.

• The minimal requirements to be applied by the licensors.

B) Decision Making Bodies

As stipulated in the FIFA and CAF Club Licensing Regulations, all associations are required to inform CAF on the implementation and composition of the two decision-making bodies for the Club Licensing System namely:

1- First Instance Body (FIB)

2- Appeals Body (AB)

C) National Club Licensing Regulations

All national associations are requested to integrate The CAF Club Licensing Regulations in their national regulations for the procedure of licensing to their affiliated clubs.

D) Seminars and Training by National Associations

All national associations have been requested to organize a seminar (workshop) involving at least all the first division clubs in order to explain and discuss the Club Licensing System. Moreover, they are requested to provide us with information regarding the time and agenda of those seminars.

CAF will also provide seminars to the National Associations and Clubs. Those seminars will be conducted by trained and experienced CAF instructors specialized in each of the 5 Criteria of the project.

*CAF started the implementation of the project from the 2011-2012 season, and is seeking to take it to the next level.