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Four I-League clubs fail to meet Club Licensing criteria

AIFF Club Licensing Committee

AIFF Club Licensing Committee

The All India Football Federation’s Club Licensing Committee – First Instance Body – met at the AIFF Football House on Wednesday, May 21. Based on the documents provided by all the parties concerned and the Inspection conducted by the AIFF Inspection Team in the month of April/May, the Committee found that nine out of the 14 applicants have made the grade while four have failed.

Newly promoted Royal Wahingdoh FC have been given a one-time exemption applicable for a year only to tick all the boxes. The clubs are expected to meet several legal, administrative, sporting, infrastructure and financial criteria.

“(Royal) Wahingdoh have done exceptionally well in several departments of Club Licensing in such a short time since qualifying for the I-League,” Committee Chairman Dr. Girija Mungali told AIFF Media.

“They deserve a leeway given to them under the Licensing regulations,” he added.

Bengaluru FC, Dempo SC, Pune FC, Salgaocar SC, East Bengal Club, Mohun Bagan AC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Mumbai FC, and Shillong Lajong FC have successfully fulfilled the Licensing Criteria while United SC, Churchill Brothers SC, Mohammedan Sporting Club and Rangdajied United FC have not been up to the mark, thus bringing down the curtains on their participation in the forthcoming Football Season 2014/15 starting with the I-League in December.

Mumbai FC and Shillong Lajong though have been granted only the National License compared to their counterparts who have both National as well as the AFC Certificate.

“Both these clubs do not have AFC A class Stadium, but were fully compliant of the infrastructure requirement for the National License,” AIFF’s Club Licensing Manager Roma Khanna stated.

Hailing the remarkable progress of the clubs since last year when the Committee was formed for the first time, Dr. Mungali said, “The nine clubs who have granted the License have come a long way since last year when only Pune FC passed. They have all passed with flying colours and it is a heartening sign for Indian Football. Clubs becoming professional is the best thing that can happen.”

“They have taken Licensing very seriously and credit goes to AIFF. The Governing Body has played its role to perfection sensitizing the issue s very diligently,” the Chairman added.

FIFA Regional Developmental Officer for South and Central Asia Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, Advocate Ushanath Banerjee, and Punkaj Jain, Chartered Accountant, and I-League CEO Sunando Dhar are the other members of the First Instance Body.

“The message has gone across that AIFF is very serious on Licensing and I am glad at the progress of the clubs,” I-League CEO Dhar said. “We have conducted two to three seminars since the First Instance Body met for the first time and gave the clubs a year’s exemption. We have been there to help the clubs at all time and we are committed to further aiding them in each and every department of Club Licensing. It’s nice to see most of them responding so well,” the CEO added.

Licensing is an annual process where all clubs eligible to compete based on sporting merit need to have a License under the AIFF’s Indian Club Licensing system.

Last year, only Pune FC stood tall in meeting the requirements with all other clubs being given a once in a lifetime one-year exemption.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)