10 April 2019 – Despite earlier attempts to address the concerns of coaches regarding the implications of CAF Coaching License system on the SAFA system of levels, we continue to receive serious concerns that border on fear and stress. It is important to remind and assure SAFA qualified coaches, and coaches in general, that the CAF Licence system neither implies that it is a matter of starting all over again in terms of training as a coach, nor that the acquired coaching skills, knowledge and experiences are no longer recognised.

A trained coach is a trained coach for sure. It is however important for all students of the game to keep acquiring new skills, knowledge and experiences, or refining existing ones and repositioning themselves to stay relevant and attractive in a brutally competitive coaching environment. This applies to the CAF licensing system as well.

It is true however that the new CAF licensing system is intended to enhance the quality of the African coach so as to compare favourably with the rest in the world. All what those South African coaches who obtained SAFA Levels 1,2 and Pro Licences need is to upgrade their qualification in line with CAF equivalence requirements. It has been, and shall be the responsibility of SAFA to inform and organise the coaches to complete the upgrading process. This of course depends on the state of readiness by CAF.

This updating process was started with and saw a number of coaches upgrade from Level 1 to CAF B licence and from Level 2 to CAF A licence. The SAFA Pro Licence holders who did not have a CAF A license, but possessed a superior professional licence, the first in Africa, following the SAFA licensing system, were taken through an eight-day assessment period and were finally conferred with a CAF A license. A normal CAF license course takes thirty (30) days. The former National Team coaches were conferred with their CAF A licence after three days of such a workshop.

Unfortunately, this process was suspended before it could offer an opportunity to all South Africans who are affected and are still waiting and could not upgrade when earlier workshops were conducted for this purpose. Different coaches had had different reasons not to attend. But among those reasons there was never a downright refusal to do so. Therefore, there is no coach who will be denied the opportunity to upgrade.

A number of coaches pointed out a number of issues that need to be explained to them. Admittedly there are more ramifications to the license issues emanating from the previous era with CAF. These include, but not only, certificates which are termed ‘’expired”, coaches with A licence but no B license, coaches with B licence but no C license, etc. Coaching Education, and therefore the SAFA Technical Division, is fully informed about these matters, hence the engagement with CAF.

The suspension of the upgrading process was as a result of CAF’s decision to stop all its licence courses in order to upgrade its own coaching curriculum and systems as a whole in order to come up with a better product following a symposium in Morocco 2017. There are many top coaches who are still waiting to upgrade and the SAFA Technical Division under the Technical Director, Neil Tovey, has made CAF aware of this through numerous engagements with Mr Raul Chipenda, the CAF Technical Division head.

It is therefore not an accurate assertion to claim that those who completed the upgrading process were a select few and those who did not yet do it are, by implication, victims.

Among those who are still waiting to update are the likes of Frans Mogashoa, Khabo Zondo, Alex Heredia. These cannot be victims or victors in anyway more so that some of them are charged with implementing SAFA, CAF and or FIFA Coaching Education policy, are FIFA instructors and are holders of SAFA Pro License. Some have already conducted full thirty days CAF A licence and the twenty days CAF B within the South African Football Association as approved by both SAFA and CAF.

Finally, part of the engagement with CAF is to clarify the status of qualifications obtained from other confederations such as UEFA. The long awaited Convention is being finalised and will assist in resolving this matter where it is expected that a CAF qualification shall assume equal status with any qualification offered by signatories to the Convention.

SAFA Coaching Education