New Delhi: Pune FC were on Wednesday granted exemption to play in the I-League by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) but the cases of the 12 I-League outfits will be taken up next week.
Now the licensing committee`s First Instance Body will decide on the fate of these teams on August 27.
The Club Licensing Appeals Committee meeting was held at AIFF Headquarters here and chaired by Justice N K Sud, former Justice, Punjab & Haryana High Court.
The committee reviewed the appeal filed by Pune FC and felt that the Club Licensing First Instance Body should have considered the supplementary report placed by the licensing manager which states that there was no non compliance with `A` Grade criteria and the only non compliance was really delayed submission of certain documents regarding criteria `A`.
"Since the Club Licensing regulations empowers the licensing manager to entertain documents if sufficient reasons exist after the deadline, the Committee accepted the appeal of Pune FC and ordered the grant of both AFC and National License to Pune FC for the 2013-14 season," the AIFF said in a statement.
It further stated: "As regards the letters received from the other 12 clubs the committee felt that these applications merely contain a prayer for seeking exemption and are not appeals against the decision of the First Instance Body. Accordingly these applications should be referred back to the Club Licensing Committee First Instance Body for appropriate action."
United Sikkim was the only club, among the 14 to flunk club licensing test, that didn`t appeal for exemption since it has been relegated to the second division.
The exemption is mandatory, without which the clubs will not be allowed to compete in the I-League.
Besides, Sanjiv Paul, Managing Director, Tata Metaliks Ltd and Neel Ratan, Head of Management Consultancy, PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Limited also attended the meeting.