THE CLUB LICENSING ISSUES for the upcoming season of ISL and I-League have been mostly resplved, except for Rajasthan United's.
3 ISL clubs (Premier 1) - Hyderabad FC, NorthEast United and East Bengal - have been granted exemptions as per their requests after falling short on certain criteria. Seven I-League clubs (Premier 2) also fell short, but out of them, Sreenidi Deccan FC, Gokulam Kerala FC, Mohammedan SC, Real Kashmir FC, Churchill Brothers FC and Aizawl FC have been granted exemptions and can play in the upcoming season without an issue.
As for Rajasthan United, they still need to resolve the issue with their home ground. A statement from AIFF said,
"After detailed deliberations, the committee granted exemptions to nine out of the 10 applicants, with the exception of Rajasthan United FC, due to their failure to submit the name of the home stadium during the licensing process. Furthermore, the committee imposed various financial sanctions on the clubs that had sought exemptions. Rajasthan United FC will need to provide the Committee documentation pertaining to the stadium that they propose to play out of for the upcoming season. Post this submission, the committee will take a final call on their exemption request."
The most crucial license of the season - that of Punjab FC, who are being promoted to the ISL after winning the I-League last season - was granted earlier without a hitch.
Five other ISL clubs - Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC, FC Goa, Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City - failed on some B criteria in their licensing application but were given the licenses. The AIFF's Licensing Committee, however, has discussed "sanctions to be imposed" on them.
The national season kicks off with Durand Cup later this month; while the international competitions - with Mumbai City participating in the AFC Champions League and OdishaÂ FC as well as Mohun Bagan playing in the AFC Cup - kick off in August with the AFC Cup qualifiers.
The clubs entering the I-League via the corporate route will be exempt from fulfilling certain criteria in their first season.