Kolkata, May 21 UNI | 2 months ago

In a significant development in Indian football, two-time champions Churchill Brothers were thrown out of the I-League along with two Kolkata clubs--United SC and Mohammedan Sporting -- and Rangdajied United of Shillong were the other three teams which failed to fulfil the AIFF's club licensing criteria the licensing criteria.

All India Football Federation's Club Licensing Committee - First Instance Body -- took the decision after its meeting in New Delhi today. All the four clubs will be out of the I-League for at least one year, AIFF sources said here today.

Interestingly, all the four clubs finished at the bottom four in the 13-team I-League (2013-14) which ended last month, with Mohammedan Sporting finishing last and Churchill 11th.

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 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.

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 said.

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

Bengaluru FC, Dempo SC, Pune FC, Salgaocar SC, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Sporting Clube de Goa, Mumbai FC, and Shillong Lajong FC have successfully fulfilled the Licensing Criteria while United SC, Churchill Brothers, Mohammedan Sporting and Rangdajied United 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 Ms 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 sensitising the issue s very diligently," the Chairman added.

(Posted on 22-05-2014)