AIFF panel appointed to decide on the exemption of I-League clubs

Committee will handle issues pertinent to re-instating the clubs for participation in the league, though eyebrows have been raides over BCCI official's presence

The All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Club Licensing Appeals Body, designated to adjudicate the exemption pleas of fourteen I-League clubs for the upcoming 2013-14 season will meet on Wednesday, 21 August at the AIFF’s headquarters' Football House.

The committee called 'The Club Licensing Appeals Body', is constituted of five members members viz. Justice NK Sud (Former Justice, Punjab & Haryana High Court), Sanjiv Paul (Vice President Corporate Services, Tata Steel Ltd.), Vikas Chawla (Vice President Coca Cola India), Neel Ratan (Head of Management Consultancy, Pricewater-house Coopers Pvt. Ltd.) and Ratnakar Shetty, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The committee has been appointed in the light of all 14 I-League clubs failing to meet the stringent standards of the club licensing policy set by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The body conducting the tests, or the Club Licensing Committee, had previously met on the 2nd of August. The test had been conducted on account of official documents and records at the disposal of the committee.

Dempo SC, Pune FC, Salgaocar SC, 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 are the clubs who failed the test, all part of the I-League roster.


BCCI brass has say on AIFF's panel for licensing of clubs

Meanwhile, issue concerning the clout of the cricketing body’s control on the AIFF and its functioning have been raised again.

In a baffling exposure, it has been revealed that an official working for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Ratnakar Shetty, has been designed panellist in the AIFF's Club Licensing Panel, to overlook the pertinent issue of issuing licenses of operation to clubs that have failed the AFC's licensing regulations.

Oddly enough, no official from the AFC, whose licensing tests the clubs failed, has been appointed on board the panel.

Another tripping stone is the competency of Shetty in his handling of matters related to football. Officials of some clubs have indeed expressed their shock, albeit, off the record.

When confronted with this fact, members of the AIFF Executive Committee were equally confused and weren’t in the know of Shetty’s appointment. Enlightened A.R. Khaleel, I-League Chairman and Executive Committee member told the New Indian Express, “I am not aware of this decision. I don’t know why they have included him. I will certainly take it up with AIFF general secretary Kushal Das.”

The relationship between the AIFF and BCCI, which have been hand in hand for a long time, has been scrutinized heavily since the cricketing body sanctioned a total grant of Rs. 50 Crore to the Indian FA, for its general functioning, on the ascension of Praful Patel as the President of the football body. Kushal Das too was an ex-ICC official.


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