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Rangdajied to appeal for a place in I-League

Shillong, May 22: Rangdajied United FC is likely to appeal against the decision of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) to bar the team from participating in the 2014-15 I-League season for its inability to fulfil the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) licensing criteria.

Yesterday, the federation announced its decision to bar Churchill Brothers, Rangdajied United and United SC from the I-League while Mohammedan Sporting would not have a chance to participate in the second division.

The decision to lay off these clubs was taken by the licensing committee of the federation in New Delhi.

“We are waiting for the official communication from the federation before we place an appeal against yesterday’s decision,” a source close to the Rangdajied team told The Telegraph.

The source, however, refused comment on whether the club saw any prospect of returning to the country’s elite circuit following yesterday’s decision.

Initially, this year’s I-League was seen as a boost to Meghalaya with Shillong Lajong, Rangdajied and Royal Wahingdoh in the saddle. Lajong and Rangdajied managed to hold on to their respective positions in the 2013-14 I-League.

Wahingdoh qualified after emerging as the top team in the second division league. But with yesterday’s decision, and with no immediate relief in sight, the future of Rangdajied appears to be bleak.

If the decision to expel the club remains even after the appeal is made, then the fans would have to remain content with Lajong and Wahingdoh in the upcoming league.

Yesterday, the federation had stated that based on the documents provided by all the parties concerned and the inspection conducted by the AIFF inspection team in the month of April/May, the committee found that nine of the 14 applicants have made the grade while four have failed. The teams were given seven days to appeal against the decision to bar them from participating in the ensuing I-League season.

Rangdajied had qualified for the 2013-14 I-League along with Mohammedan Sporting. During the league, the team had hired some outstanding players like India’s goalkeeper Subrata Paul and Nigerian striker Ranti Martins to ensure it remained in the top flight.

After a hard fight and a narrow squeak, Rangdajied managed to stay in the league.

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