Club licensing has been the talk of so many football enthusiasts in Uganda as the new season gets underway.
With many teams in the top tier league (Uganda Premier League) still engulfed in the bustle to fulfil at least the minimal requirements, many could fail to beat time before their opening games.
This was the case as the 2019-20 Uganda Premier League season got underway on Thursday night when newcomers Kyetume FC edged record champions SC Villa 1-0 thanks to Cephus Kambugu solitary effort.
The game nearly failed to be played with both teams failing to have clearance of their players and only featured in the game with provisional licenses.
According to reliable sources, both Kyetume FC and SC Villa did not have their players approved by the Transfer Matching System (TMS) and could not play the game as per the FUFA Competition Rules.
Article 19 of The FUFA Competition Rules regarding status, transfer and registration of players states that only a player certified by FUFA will be considered a licensed player as extracted below;
- The status of each player shall be defined by the FUFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players.
- Players shall only be considered as FUFA Licensed for a season upon being validated by FUFA on the FUFA Football Connect electronic registration system and issued a FUFA license or when their license and registration forms are signed and stamped by FUFA for that season.
- FUFA may issue provisional players licenses for a specified period pending scrutiny of the documents submitted.
In event that FUFA confirms that the player may not be registered with a particular club, the provisional license will be withdrawn and consequently, the player will become ineligible to play for that or any other club without a valid Players License.
By the time the game kicked off, Kyetume FC had only 15 players cleared to play while SC Villa had none but played on provisional licenses.
Being the only game played on Thursday and a television game in that regard, the league organizers after several consultations eventually allowed the game to take place.
“There were fears that the game would be called off but being the season opener and a TV game, an agreement was reached to have the game go on,” confirmed the source.
It should be noted that both Kyetume and SC Villa had only five and four players on the bench as substitutes respectively and the two teams took long to come to the pitch for warm-ups.
What is FIFA Transfer Matching System?
The FIFA Transfer Matching System is an online platform for FIFA’s Member’s Associations to record player transfers between clubs.
The introduction of the system was approved by the FIFA Congress in 2009 and was made mandatory from 1 October 2010.
The purpose of the system is to improve transparency, efficiency and governance between clubs and football associations.
The purchasing and selling club are both required to enter details of the transfer. Crucially, the details must match in order for the transfer to be approved and in cross-border cases, an International Transfer Certificate is dispensed.
There are two variants; Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS) for player transfers between clubs affiliated to the same association and International Transfer Matching System (ITMS) for player transfers between two different football associations.