Aizawl FC, Bengaluru FC get AFC license from AIFF
What’s The Story?
Aizawl FC, shocked everyone and clinched the I-league tournament last season. They defeated the mighty Mohun Bagan in their second last game of the season, to create history in Indian football, as they became the first team from the Northeastern region of the country to win the I-League.
Now, Aizawl have received the AFC license along with Bengaluru FC, one of the most consistent teams in the country. After going through the reports, the members of the AFC Licensing Committee unanimously decided to award the AFC License to Aizawl FC and Bengaluru FC only.
Aizawl FC will now play the prestigious AFC Champions League qualifiers, whereas Bengaluru FC will play AFC Asia Cup qualifiers.
Eight I-League clubs had applied for the AFC and national licenses for the season 2017-18 — Aizawl FC, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Bengaluru FC, Shillong Lajong FC, Churchill Brothers, Chennai City FC and Minerva Punjab FC.
AIFF’s Club Licensing Committee, “First Instance Body” met at Football House, New Delhi to evaluate the applications made by license applicants for AFC Club Competitions in the 2017-18 season.
The Heart of the Matter:
There was a complication hovering over this decision. The big guns of Indian football, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal had also applied for the license but after winning the I-League, Aizawl became the strongest contenders. Bengaluru FC, on the other hand, got the license on the back of their Federation Cup victory. They say, all’s well that ends well, and with Aizawl with getting the license, one has to admit that it has indeed ended well for them.
The committee further decided to convene another meeting in the near future to decide the results of the applications made by the same clubs for national club competitions.
This is a huge result for Aizawl FC. They have come a long way, and winning the I-League is no less than a fairy tale for them. It would be interesting to see how far can they go from here on. On the other hand, BFC will be a strong contender for AFC Asia Cup. They will also feature in the ISL for the first time ever, this season.