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All 14 I-League clubs fail the Club Licensing Test

AIFF Club Licensing Committee

Dr. Girija Shanker Mungali chaired the Club Licensing Committee – First Instance Body (FIB) – Meeting organised by the All India Football Federation at Football House in Dwarka on Friday.

The five-member committee appointed by the AIFF includes FIFA Regional Developmental Officer for South and Central Asia Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, Advocate Ushanath Banerjee, Chartered Accountant Punkaj Jain and I-League CEO Sunando Dhar, apart from the Chairman himself.

AIFF’s Club Licensing Committee decided that based on the reports all the 14 License Applicants failed to clear the Licensing Test.

The 14 clubs are Dempo SC, Pune FC, Salgaocar SC, Churchill Brothers SC, East Bengal Club, Mohun Bagan AC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Prayag United SC, United Sikkim FC, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Mumbai FC, Rangdajied FC, Shillong Lajong FC and Pailan Arrows.

The decision was based on the various documents at the committee’s disposal.

However, all the I-League clubs have been given a lifeline by the AIFF by allowing them to appeal or seek an exemption for the National License to participate in the I-League and Federation Cup this season.

The request for an exemption to compete in the national club competitions has to be sent to AIFF’s Club Licensing Manager Roma Khanna by August 14, 2013. This exemption is mandatory, without which the clubs will not be allowed to compete in the I-League.

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said: “This is a mandate given by AFC, and approved and accepted by the AIFF. So the Licensing Criteria is a must, and all the clubs need to abide by it.”

“FIB (First Instance Body) went through the evaluation in great detail. The process was extremely fair and independent,” Das added.

The All India Football Federation started the process in January 2013 to implement Indian Club Licensing for the first time. This included an inspection of all the clubs later in May and June when a five-member team including national coach Wim Koevermans visited the I-League clubs.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)