I-League outfits bat for Club Licensing Criteria

New Delhi: The Indian Club Licensing System which has been stressed upon by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has seen all I-League Clubs cooperating in the best possible manner.

AIFF started the process in January 2013 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.

With less than two months left for the kick-off of the I-League, Chirag Tanna, Pune FC, Head Operations, feels it`s important for all clubs to "fulfill the Licensing Criteria".

His view was endorsed by Raj Gomes, General Secretary, Salgaocar SC. "Club Licensing is extremely important to take Indian Football forward and to the next level for which it has to be adhered to. This has to be carried out in a phased manner in order to implement the same in totality," he opined.

Furthermore Tanna said: "As Indian football evolves, we have seen the evolution of the participants, from domestic teams to domestic clubs. The first team is an integral part of the club, but the ecosystem of a club includes a lot more than the squad of 30 players."

"The club includes a proper Youth Development set up and a robust Back Office set up. The Back Office includes various Departments like Accounts, Media, Marketing, Administration and Legal," he states.

Gomes complemented Tanna. "Club Licensing in India will definitely bring about professionalism in Indian Football and set high standards with respect to match competition," he maintained.

Meeting the Licensing Criteria stays one of the recent challenges for Indian football. But the clubs are taking it very seriously.

"We have taken this very seriously and are making all efforts to fulfill all the Criteria. However, some of the Criteria which are time consuming are being addressed and will certainly be met in time to come," Gomes quipped.

The final report card will be out on August 2, when the Club Licensing Committee will meet to decide the fate of the 14 License Applicant Clubs.