The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) convened a crucial meeting on Wednesday, May 29, with Premier League club chairmen and secretaries to discuss the implementation of the CAF Club Licensing Online Platform (CLOP).

The session, held at the SLFA Secretariat Conference Room, represents a significant stride towards modernizing player registration and transfer processes in Sierra Leone.

The CLOP system aims to transition Premier League clubs from manual to electronic registration and transfers, thus streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency. This move is anticipated to bring about greater transparency and effectiveness in managing player data and club operations.

Facilitating the session were key SLFA officials, including Acting General Secretary Mohamed Benson Bawoh, Club License Manager Sorie Ibrahim Sesay, and First Instance Board Chairman Siman Alie Mans Conteh Esq. These officials were among four Sierra Leonean representatives who recently attended a two-day CAF Club License training in Ghana. The fourth representative was Appeals Body Chairman Emmanuel Tamba Bundor Esq.

SLFA Acting General Secretary Mohamed Benson Bawoh underscored the importance of the meeting. “The new license mechanisms introduced by CAF will invariably enable clubs to maintain up-to-date structures and player records,” Bawoh stated. He further announced that the FA, through its Executive Committee, would provide $5,000 to each Premier League club to support the implementation of these new structures over the next five months.

Bawoh emphasized that compliance with the CLOP criteria is mandatory for all clubs. “Clubs failing to meet these standards will not be certified to participate in the Premier League and will be relegated to the first division,” he warned.

First Instance Board Chairman Siman Alie Mans Conteh Esq outlined the requirements for club certification by the SLFA. These requirements include having an approved youth development program, maintaining two youth football teams (U10 and U15), establishing a women’s team, and ensuring medical and welfare provisions for players and children. This comprehensive approach aims to foster holistic development within clubs, ensuring they meet both domestic and international standards.

Club License Manager Sorie Ibrahim Sesay, who also serves as the Director of Competitions, reaffirmed the SLFA’s commitment to empowering clubs to meet these standards. Sesay announced that the SLFA would organize workshops to train all Premier League clubs on effectively operating the online platform, thereby facilitating a smoother transition to the new system.