I League: Barred clubs to face more misery

Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha

New Delhi: After getting barred from I League`s first division for failing AIFF`s licensing criteria, the footballing federation has made it a compulsion for the clubs to have licenses for the second division too. The four clubs namely Rangdajied United, Churchill Brothers, United SC and Mohammedan Sporting were ruled out for failed licensing. These clubs face more hurdles and could miss out on any football for the 2014-15 season.

The I League is supposed to comprise of just 10 teams this season and the AIFF on Friday extended its deadline for new team bids and it hopes to add at least two more teams. The AIFF on Friday said they are going for quality over quantity and rightly so it is in the best direction for Indian football.

The clubs that faced the axe on Wednesday find themselves in a odd position and a scenario where missing football completely is something they will face now. Where teams like Pune FC and Bengaluru FC have set the benchmark with fulfilled licensing criteria and facilities, these clubs have failed considerably. They played this season after being exempted from licensing form by the AIFF last season and there is no chance AIFF is giving another chance.

This season`s promoted club Royal Wahingdoh, has been given a one year exemption scheme but will have to fulfill the criteria next term. Teams like Lajong Shillong and Mumbai FC have just the national license and need to get the other one too.

With the direction Indian football is heading towards, this is a good move as AIFF had strictly put out the norms and rules a year back. The failure of the teams barred have put so much at stake and it will be some tough days ahead for everybody involved. And it is mainly the players that will face jeopardy. Will the players get loaned to other clubs? Or will the clubs get at least a national license for the time being and hang on to I League football? Or will there be nothing?

These questions are surely going to float around in the days to come.

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