Monday 22 August 2022, 06:00

Costa Rican FA capitalises on World Cup fever to launch women’s club licensing system

  • The workshop, organised in conjunction with FIFA, was held on 20 August in San Jose

  • Representatives from seven of the eight top-tier clubs attended

  • The initiative is to be fully implemented in the 2023/24 season

On Saturday 20 August, the Costa Rican Football Association (FCRF) hosted a workshop, organised alongside FIFA, to launch a club licensing system in women’s football. The seminar took place beside the Estadio Nacional in the capital, San Jose, which will play host to the final of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ on 28 August. Since the turn of the year, the FCRF has been working on a number of the FIFA women’s football development programmes with a view to implementing a licensing system that is tailored to the needs of the eight clubs that compete in the Costa Rican top flight. “This workshop is really important for the future of the women’s club game in Costa Rica,” commented Gustavo Araya, the FRCF’s General Secretary. “While a lot of good work has been done in our country, if we’re to match the standards of the top European leagues, we need a club licensing system,” he added.

The Costa Rican FA has outlined a road map to implement the system, with plans to run a pilot project during the 2022/23 season before a full roll-out in the 2023/24 campaign. The whole process will follow the guidelines laid out in the FIFA Guide to Club Licensing in Women’s Football. “The fact that we’re the first Concacaf member association to benefit from this FIFA programme fills us with pride. We hope to see our clubs reap the rewards of this system in the long term,” stated Elieth Artavia, Head of Women’s Football at the FCRF. The women's game is in fine shape in the Central American country, with over 14,000 fans in the stands to witness the second leg of the 2022 Torneo Apertura final, in which Liga Deportiva Alajuelense ran out 1-0 winners over their old nemesis Deportivo Saprissa to secure a 4-1 aggregate triumph and become the first club to claim the league crown in three consecutive seasons.

Costa Rica kicks off Women’s Club Licensing Programme

The return leg of the domestic showpiece was played at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, one of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup venues, two weeks before the tournament curtain-raiser, in which more than 22,000 fans flocked to the Estadio Nacional to show their support for Las Ticas. Seven of the eight top-tier teams were represented at the workshop. “At our club, we’re set to open a new stadium at the end of this year where both our women’s and men’s teams will play their home games. This initiative is in line with the criteria within the new club licensing system,” explained Yanury Morales Ugalde, deputy general manager at CS Herediano. Finally, in a further show of the country’s commitment to promoting the women’s game, the Costa Rican top flight is one of the competitions that comes under the spotlight in the Setting the pace: FIFA benchmarking report women’s football.