The All India Football Federation's (AIFF) CLub Licensing committee made it clear on Wednesday that Pune FC and Bharat FC will not be part of the next edition of I-League. The committee was chaired by Dr. Girija Shankar Mungali who was accompanied by Mr. Shekhar Nagar and Mr. Sunando Dhar.
"Pune FC and Bharat FC failed to fulfil the financial and personal criterions according to the AFC as well as national regulations. Mumbai FC, Shillong Lajong FC and Royal Wahingdoh FC also failed to comply with AFC criterion as their home stadium doesn’t adhere to the AFC credentials, however, these clubs were granted national licenses to compete in I-League 2015-16," a statement released by the AIFF on Wednesday read.
"Champions Mohun Bagan AC, Runners up Bengaluru FC, Kingfisher East Bengal FC and twins from Goa- Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar FC were successful to get AFC and national Licenses to compete in AFC club competitions and Hero I-League 2015-16," it further stated.
Goal had first revealed about the decision of the two Pune clubs as they both lost interest to participate in the top tier league of the nation due to the sheer nonchalance of the AIFF with regards to the future of the top division league. The two clubs have a week's time to appeal for exemption from the licensing criterion.
On the other hand, it's not all rosy for newbies Aizawl FC as the team have been given the one-year lifeline.
"Aizawl FC, the entrant who qualified to play in I-League 2015-16 having triumphed the second division League 2014-15, failed to satisfy the infrastructural and financial criteria primarily. However, the committee were extremely pleased with the sincere effort that Aizawl FC have put throughout and they unanimously decided to grant the Mizoram club an one time exemption," the statement read.