Legendary football clubs of Kolkata, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have failed to secure AFC and National Club licenses. It was announced on Thursday, October 10, 2019, that they have been denied the license. AIFF’s Club Licensing Committee – First Instance Body (CLC-FIB) met in New Delhi to decide on the club licensing applications.
A record number of clubs (19) had applied for the AFC and National Licenses ahead of the 2019/20 season of the Indian Club Licensing system. Aizawl FC, NEROCA FC, NorthEast United FC, Minerva Punjab FC, Real Kashmir FC, ATK, Mohun Bagan, Quess East Bengal FC, Jamshedpur FC, Odisha FC (erstwhile Delhi Dynamos FC), Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, Chennai City FC, Gokulam Kerala FC, Kerala Blasters FC, FC Goa, Churchill Brothers, FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC are the list of the clubs who applied for the licenses.
The Club Licensing Committee – First Instance Body (CLC-FIB) unanimously decided the following:-
Clubs who have been GRANTED both AFC & National License for the 2019-20 season but WITH SANCTIONS: Chennai City FC, Chennaiyin FC, Bengaluru FC, Jamshedpur FC, FC Goa, and ATK.
Clubs, whose application for both AFC & National License for the 2019-20 season have been REJECTED: Aizawl FC, NEROCA FC, NorthEast United FC, Minerva Punjab FC, Mohun Bagan, Quess East Bengal FC, Odisha FC (erstwhile Delhi Dynamos FC), Gokulam Kerala FC, Kerala Blasters FC, Churchill Brothers, FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC
Seven business days have been given out to the clubs whose application for AFC & National License for the 2019-20 season was rejected from October 10, 2019, to file an Appeal or seek an exemption (for National Club competitions only).
A short brief on the Indian Club Licensing Regulations 2019-20:
AIFF under the approval of the Asian Football Confederation runs the Indian Club Licensing system for all top division league clubs in India, using the AFC’s online club licensing portal – AFC CLAS.
Under the Indian Club Licensing system, AIFF has the authority to issue AFC License (for AFC Club Competitions i.e. AFC Champions League and AFC Cup) and National License (for National Club Competitions i.e. I-League, Indian Super League and Super Cup).
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, provided an “EXEMPTION TO PARTICIPATE in National Club Competitions” is received under the regulatory provisions provided in Indian Club Licensing Regulations 2019-20.
To get an AFC and/or National License, clubs need to comply with all Mandatory “A” graded criteria apart from other “B” and “C” graded criteria.
Clubs who comply with all Mandatory “A” graded criteria but don’t comply with all mandatory “B” graded criteria, still get the requisite license but with Sanctions.
Clubs who fail even one Mandatory “A” graded criteria are not granted AFC/National license.
In the appeal/exemption process, clubs are barred from producing any document that was not submitted in AFC CLAS uring the club licensing core process timelines.