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The Indian FA have written to West Bengal and Goa state associations that only one club from each of the two states would be granted permission to participate...

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) have received twenty five applicants who wish to participate in the I-League second division this season.

The Emergency Committee of the AIFF had earlier stated that starting the 2013-14 season, the second division sides though, can field only a solitary foreigner, while they would also have to foot the bill for their expenses during the qualifying phase, something the federation had borne until now.

This had come in for severe criticism from certain quarters as several clubs opted to not compete in the second division as it wasn’t financially viable, which in fact, served the purpose of the AIFF who were keen only on serious contenders to participate.

However the AIFF has got an overwhelming response from the clubs.

“We have got about 25 teams for the second division,” informed Sunando Dhar, CEO of the I-League.

Earlier the AIFF in its Emergency Committee meeting had decided that there can’t be more than five teams from any city in the first two divisions. With regards to Goa and Kolkata, who already have four teams each in the I-League (not considering Pailan Arrows who wouldn’t be around in the 2014-15 season), should any further teams qualify for the national league, they would have to relocate and play at a different venue subject to approval from the governing body of football in India

The AIFF have got six applicants from Kolkata, namely Bhawanipore, Southern Samity, Railways, Kalighat, Police and Aryans and two from Goa with Sesa and Vasco in the fray.

“We have written to the state associations of West Bengal and Goa. They have to nominate only one team from their states which shall depend on the average of the teams’ performance in the local league for the last two seasons,” Dhar explained.

An inspection will be conducted to check whether the applicants are fulfilling the club licencing criterion following which the final list of participants will be announced in September.

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