Rangdajied’s participation in I-League next season hanging by the thread

The Indian FA didn’t inspect the north eastern side last week as they could not follow the documentation process…

Should All India Football Federation (AIFF) stick to its Club Licensing regulations, Rangdajied United’s presence in Indian football’s top division league could be in doubt since they failed to submit the documents within the stipulated period.

The AIFF had set a date of March 12 for the clubs to follow the online documentation procedure. However the north eastern club couldn’t adhere to the deadline and as a result, the AIFF didn’t conduct an inspection last week when their team was in Shillong.

The AIFF has already sent their suggestions to the clubs, except Rangdajied based on the observations made during the inspection.

It must be noted that every club had once chance of getting a waive off by appealing against the decision of the First Instance Body (FIB) who had found 14 clubs to have not fulfilled the mandatory ‘A’ criteria of the licensing norms last season.

Thereafter the default clubs had to seek an exemption from the Appeals Committee who did grant it to twelve.

“This is the only exemption given to all the 12 clubs for the football season 2013-14. They will have to comply with all the ‘A’ Grade criteria just as Pune FC did for the National License from the 2014-15 Season onwards and no further exemption will be given if they fail to meet ‘A’ Grade criteria,” said FIB chairman Giriraja Shanker Mungali had stated back in August last year.

When contacted Sunando Dhar, I-League’s CEO, as to why the inspection for Rangdajied wasn’t conducted, he said, “You don’t send papers, we don’t inspect you.”

Rangdajied’s general secretary Karsing Kurbah is positive that his club will be given a chance as they were promoted from the second division only last year.

“We are a new club and got promoted last season. We did fulfill the licensing criteria but we finished on the 12th but we couldn’t upload the documents. We did send the hard copy of our documents on 13th morning.

“The AIFF said that they can’t accept and didn’t inspect us. They mentioned that our case will be decided when the committee meets,” he told Goal.

It is reliably learned that the FIB is expected to congregate for a meeting next month. However since the inspection wasn’t done in the first place, there is little that the FIB would have to say on Rangdajied.

Even if they do appeal for license, their one-time exemption has already been utilized this season.

It will be interesting to see how serious the AIFF is on the club licensing norms.