Chennai City FC along with five Indian Super League (ISL) outfits, namely Jamshedpur FC, Chennaiyin FC, FC Goa, ATK and Bengaluru FC, have been granted both AFC & National License for the 2019-20 season but with sanctions. It is noteworthy these five ISL clubs have cleared the licensing procedure for the second successive year.
Chennai City are the only I-League side that has been able to meet all the benchmarks. The rest of the clubs including Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have failed to fulfil the required criteria to complete the licensing procedure.
The clubs' whose application for AFC & National License for the 2019-20 season have been rejected, or if the license has been granted with sanctions, have 7 business days from October 10, 2019, to file an appeal or seek an exemption (for national club competitions only).
The licensing criteria are graded A, B or C and clubs who comply with all mandatory “A” graded criteria but don't comply with all mandatory "B" graded criteria, will get the requisite license but with sanctions.
New entrants Hyderabad FC and TRAU FC will not be required to undertake the procedure as they will be plying their trade in the top tier for the first time.
AIFF had extended the initial deadline for submitting all the required documents from August 25 to September 15 and had again pushed the deadline by a day.
Without an AFC License, a club cannot participate in AFC club competitions, despite qualifying for the respective competitions on sporting merit. However, without a National License, a club may still be able to participate in national club competitions by seeking an exemption.