The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 21 , 2014
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AIFF is set to act tough

New Delhi: At least three major clubs United Sports, Churchill Brothers and Rangdajied United face the danger of elimination from I League, when the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) club licensing committee meets here on Wednesday.

Mohammedan Sporting, one of country’s oldest clubs, may also be in trouble. Recently being relegated to the second division, the Calcutta club have failed on several aspects of club licensing, sources said.

On agenda in the meeting will be the decision to issue national and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) licenses to the applicants for the 2014-15 season. Newly-promoted Shillong outfit Royal Wahingdoh are one of the applicants.

The clubs are expected to meet several legal, administrative, sporting, infrastructure and financial criteria.

The call will be taken on the basis of the documents provided by all parties concerned and inspections conducted by the AIFF team in 2014, the federation said in a statement. Last season, all I League clubs, except Pune FC, were given an one-year extension after they failed to fulfil all the criteria.

There is also a feeling that the AIFF’s decision to act tough could be related to its inability to draw up the calendar. Having given a 10-week slot to the franchise-based Indian Super League (ISL), the AIFF is finding it difficult to accommodate a long-drawn I League. Less number of teams in the I League would definitely make the federation’s task easier.

While the AIFF has promised to be strict, especially after getting a pat on the back from the AFC for working in the right direction, its inconsistency could be the only hope for the faltering clubs.