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However, all the I League clubs have been given a lifeline by the AIFF, allowing them to appeal or seek an exemption for the National License to participate in the I League...

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) First Instance Body have deemed all the clubs to have failed to fulfill the licensing criterion.

The 14 clubs are Dempo SC, Pune FC, Salgaocar FC, Churchill Brothers, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Sporting Clube de Goa, Prayag United SC, United Sikkim, Mohammedan Sporting, Mumbai FC, Rangdajied FC, Shillong Lajong FC, and Pailan Arrows.   

However, the clubs have been given a lifeline by the AIFF by allowing them to appeal or seek an exemption for the National License to participate in I-eague and Federation Cup this season.

Dr. Girija Shanker Mungali, chaired the club licensing committee -- First Instance Body (FIB) -- meeting organised by the All India Football Federation at Football House in Dwarka on Friday.

The five-member committee appointed by the AIFF included FIFA Regional Developmental Officer for South and Central Asia. Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, Advocate Ushanath Banerjee, Punkaj Jain, a Chartered Accountant, and I-League CEO Mr. Sunando Dhar, basides the chairman.

The request for an exemption to compete in the national club competitions has to be sent to AIFF’s Club Licensing Manager, Roma Khanna by August 14, 2013. This exemption is mandatory, without which the clubs will not be allowed to compete in the I-League.

AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das said: “This is a mandate given by AFC, and approved and accepted by the AIFF. So the licensing criteria is a must, and all the Clubs need to abide by it.”

“FIB (First Instance Body) went through the evaluation in great detail. The process was extremely fair and independent,” Das added.     

All India Football Federation started the process in January 2013 to implement Indian club licensing for the first time. This included an inspection of all the clubs later in May and June when a five-member Team including National Coach Wim Koevermans visited the I-League Clubs.

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