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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has declared 21 coaches unfit to be on the bench and lead teams engaged in CAF Interclub competitions this season, saying they do not hold the appropriate coaching licenses. Those affected are a diverse collection including coaches with African, European and Brazilian origin.

According to the higher standards CAF is demanding for the management bench of football clubs on the continent, for the 2020/2021 CAF Interclub season, all clubs were to ensure that their head coach complied with these licensing requirements.

The requirements derived from the implementation of the CAF Club Licensing system. It requires all head coaches of clubs engaged in the 2020/2021 edition of Total CAF Champions League, Total CAF Confederation Cup to have the “CAF A” coaching license. Aside from the “CAF A” license, all coaches holding a “PRO license” from a valid sister football confederation will be eligible to take part in CAF club competitions.

CAF says it’s determined to enforce these requirements so that coaches at a certain level in Africa going forward, will have to enrol in a licensing course and obtain a diploma.

The Confederation affirmed that this is just one example of how its novel Club Licensing system will engender positive change in African football. It has already begun yielding fruits through a better awareness of the necessity for qualified coaches at the domestic level. As proof, several Member Associations have already contacted CAF to plan training courses for their coaches.

Raul Chipenda, Director of Development at CAF, commented on the development: “It is about raising the level of local coaches to ensure better quality training for African clubs. This measure should favour the choice of qualified coaches to assume responsibilities.

“Club presidents will have more self-confidence and it will be more obvious to hire a local coach rather than looking elsewhere.”

In his view, the new CAF standards constitute an essential vector for the evolution and development of African football and are inspired by best practices and global operating standards.

The continental football governing body intends to formulate new requirements for all the clubs’ technical staffs, namely assistant coach, goalkeepers’ coach, physical trainers as well as the youth category coaches for standard certification across the continent through the club licensing system in the coming seasons.

The objective of the Confederation is the continued advancement and professionalisation of the coaching profession to make local coaches appreciate in consideration within the football ecosystem and compete favourably with peers elsewhere.

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