14 clubs fail AIFF`s licensing test
New Delhi: None of the country`s top 14 clubs, including big names such as Dempo, Churchill Brothers, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, could clear the Club Licensing Test conducted by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Girija Shanker Mungali, chaired the Club Licensing Committee -- First Instance Body (FIB) -- meeting organised by the AIFF at Football House here on Friday.
The five-member committee appointed by the AIFF included FIFA Regional Developmental Officer for South and Central Asia Shaji Prabhakaran, Ushanath Banerjee, Punkaj Jain, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar, apart from the chairman himself.
AIFF`s Club Licensing Committee decided that based on the reports all the fourteen license applicants failed to clear the test.
Besides the heavyweights from Goa and Kolkata, the 14 clubs included Pune FC, Salgaocar SC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Prayag United SC, United Sikkim, Mohammedan Sporting, ,Mumbai FC, Rangdajied FC, Shillong Lajong FC and and Pailan Arrows.
The decision was based on the various documents at the committee`s disposal.
However, all the 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 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. 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 went through the evaluation in great detail. The process was extremely fair and independent," Das added.
The AIFF started the process in January to implement Indian Club Licensing for the first time. This included an inspection of all the clubs in May and June when a five-member team including national coach Wim Koevermans visited the I-League clubs.