KRALENDIJK, Bonaire – In 2014, the Federashon di Futbol Bonairiano (Bonairean Football Federation, FFB) became the 41st Member Association of CONCACAF. Nestled in the southern Caribbean – in close proximity to Aruba and Curacao — Bonaire is home to just under 20,000 inhabitants. It hosts millions of tourists from around the world seeking a spectacular beach vacation.
Similarly, the club football landscape is also exceptionally busy with a men’s first division, two senior men’s leagues (one for over 35 and one for over 50), and youth leagues from the under-9 to under-17 age groups (under-9 and under-11 rosters can contain boys and girls). Additionally, the FFB organizes regular grassroots festivals and works in partnership with local schools to organize boys’ and girls’ school leagues.
This past weekend, the CONCACAF Club Licensing department conducted a two-day club football development seminar — in partnership with the FFB — for all the football clubs in Bonaire.
“CONCACAF has designed an inclusive Club Licensing system for our region’s football clubs, and we believe the key to the long term success will be to gradually increase requirements,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “By taking this approach, the Confederation is guaranteeing a model for development.”
CONCACAF Club Licensing Manager, Andres Portabella, presented the Confederation’s approach to Club Licensing and thoroughly examined development tools available to all leagues and clubs in the region.
On Saturday, the clubs were given an overview of the system, allowing them to gain an understanding of the new requirements for participation in domestic club competitions. A day later, an innovatively designed session gave club representatives an opportunity to simulate the proper procedures and protocols for executing an international football match. After being assigned various roles and responsibilities, the attendees conducted a Match Coordination Meeting and then proceeded to follow the elements of “The Countdown” during a local match between S.V. Uruguay and S.V. Flamingo at the Antonio Trinidad Stadium in Rincon, Bonaire.
“The response from the clubs in Bonaire to Club Licensing has been very positive,” commented FFB President Ludwig L. Balentin. “They have embraced the project and they are interested in fulfilling the domestic requirements for Club Licensing ahead of the start of the 2015-2016 season.”
In line with CONCACAF’s 2015 Club Licensing Regulations, the minimum domestic requirements put in place by CONCACAF’s Club Licensing system, to be satisfied before the start of the season, include:
- – Accurately completing a club general form, a finance form, a youth development form and an infrastructure form;
- – Providing proof of ownership or a contract/agreement for the use of a home stadium;
- – Appointing a qualified coach to the first team;
- – Registering all first team players and coaches through an online platform;
- – Appointing a General Manager, Media Officer, Finance Officer, and Marketing Officer;
- – Presenting a budget;
- – Submitting a legal declaration form signed by an authorized signatory;
- – If applicable, submitting the club ownership structure and control mechanisms;
- – If applicable, submitting club statutes or an equivalent legal document.
“Our football is operated 100% by volunteers, but our clubs can already fulfill many of the CONCACAF Club Licensing domestic requirements, since they are successfully following our federation’s statutes which mandate that each club have a board of directors and statutes. Integrating our clubs to this system will allow us to centralize key information from all our clubs into one unique system,” expressed FFB General Secretary, Jeaninne Wong Loi Sing.
In order to continue assisting the FFB and the clubs in Bonaire, CONCACAF will organize a D-License Coaching Course before the start of the 2015-2016 season, enabling all coaches in Bonaire to increase their knowledge base.
After this first Club Licensing seminar, the clear response to whether or not CONCACAF’s Club Licensing system can be implemented in Bonaire is a resounding “yes!”