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ISL: No AFC Club competitions spot for new team from Hyderabad

07:48 GMT+3 28/08/2019
Varun Tripuraneni Hyderabad FC
The Hyderabad-based ISL team set to replace FC Pune City will not be able to take part in AFC competitions...

The new Indian Super League (ISL) team from Hyderabad, which is set to replace FC Pune City, will not be able to take part in any of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) tournaments for the next two years. 

The Wadhawan Group-owned club, riddled with financial issues, is set to wind up their first-team operations. As a result, their right to participation in the ISL has been transferred to a new team from Hyderabad.

As a new entity, the Hyderabad-based club is also set to escape the transfer ban that was handed out to FC Pune City. The Stallions were found guilty of tapping up Chennai City midfielder Nestor Gordillo and were handed a two-window transfer ban starting from January 2020.

The ban would have applied to the new team from Hyderabad as well if they had taken over FC Pune City officially.

But the new arrangement, while helping the Hyderabad team circumvent the transfer ban given to Pune City, ensures they will not be able to play continental games representing India for the next two seasons should they finish first in the league stage of the ISL.

"As per AFC regulations, since they are coming in for Pune City, this is the only way they could avoid the transfer ban. If they had taken over the team completely, the ban would have carried over to the Hyderabad team as well. Now, they will be a seperate entity but Pune city will continue its youth team operations," informed a source close to the developments.

According to the AFC's club license regulations (Article 13.A.4), there is a waiting period of two years before a team, under a particular management, can qualify for AFC competitions.

Article 13.A.4

The membership and/or the contractual relationship must have lasted at the start of the Licensing process at least two consecutive years. Any alteration to club’s legal form or company structure (including, changing its headquarters, name, club colours, or transferring stake holdings between different clubs/entities) in order to facilitate its qualification on sporting merit and/or its receipt of a licence is deemed as an interruption of membership or contractual relationship (if any) within the meaning of this provision.    

The 2019-20 season could see ISL's league-stage toppers handed a ticket to AFC Champions League. However, should the Hyderabad team win the league stage in the next two seasons, they will have no option but to relinquish their continental ticket.