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I-League: Nine clubs pass and four fail in licensing test; Exemption for newly-promoted Wahingdoh

Only nine of the 14 clubs that took part in the I-League club licensing test have passed and thus have been cleared to play in the 2014-15 I-League. Bengaluru FC, Dempo SC, Pune FC, Salgaocar, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Sporting Clube de Goa, Mumbai FC, and Shillong Lajong have all successfully fulfilled the licensing criteria.

The five clubs which have failed are United SC, Churchill Brothers, Mohammedan Sporting, Rangdajied United and Royal Wahingdoh. However Wahingdoh have been given a one-time exemption applicable for a year only to tick all the boxes as they have been newly promoted to the I-League following their second division success.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the club licensing committee (First Instance Body) on Wednesday. The verdict was made based on the documents provided by all the clubs concerned and the inspection conducted by the AIFF in the month of April/May 2014.

The fact that nine clubs passed is a huge contrast from last year when all the clubs failed and Pune FC were only granted the license after an appeal. Seven of those nine clubs have been granted both the national and AFC certificate but Mumbai FC and Shillong Lajong have only been granted the national license as they do not have an AFC A class stadium.

Those nine clubs and Wahingdoh are eligible for the 2014/15 I-League but United SC, Churchill Brothers, Mohammedan Sporting and Rangdajied United won’t be able to participate. These four teams can appeal the decision but are unlikely to get a clearance as they haven’t fulfilled most aspects of the club licensing criteria despite getting a one-year exemption last year.

Licensing is an annual process where all clubs eligible to compete based on sporting merit need to have a license under the AIFF’s Indian club licensing system.

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