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East Bengal best in the I-League licensing test

Nine clubs passed the I-League licensing test and East Bengal have emerged as the best performer according to a Times of India report.

Seven of the nine clubs were granted both the AIFF and AFC club licenses while Mumbai FC and Shillong Lajong had to only settle for the national certificate as they don’t have an international standard stadium.

The decision was made by the First Instance Body on Wednesday and one of its members, advocate Usha Nath Banerjee, revealed that I-League runners-up East Bengal had the best performance.

“Compared to other Indian clubs, East Bengal have the best performance and got the maximum points as far as fulfilling the club licensing criteria is concerned. Pune FC and Bengaluru FC have got almost same points but East Bengal have got the number one spot quite handsomely,” Banerjee stated.

The clubs are expected to meet several legal, administrative, sporting and financial criteria. In all there are 42 mandatory requirements for the AIFF license and 33 for the AFC.

East Bengal’s performance comes as a surprise as they still don’t have an academy but the red-and-gold brigade have reportedly spent a fortune in fulfilling other aspects of the criteria and have recently refurbished their club tent also.

Four clubs – Churchill Brothers, United SC, Rangdajied United and Mohammedan Sporting – failed and thus are ineligible for the 2014-15 I-League and Federation Cup but they can still appeal the decision. Second division champions Royal Wahingdoh also failed but have been granted a one-time exemption as they are newly-promoted to the I-League.

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