All 5 ISL clubs SC East Bengal, Odisha FC, Hyderabad FC, Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC who failed to get the National Licence for 2020-21 season, sought an Exemption to participate in National Club Competitions of the 2020-21 season and have received the same from the AIFF’s Club Licensing Committee — First Instance Body with financial sanctions. The committee has also asked the clubs to make rectifications at the earliest.
No appeals were lodged by any club against the decision of the AIFF’s Club Licensing Committee – First Instance Body.
Earlier, all the five clubs have failed to meet the AFC and national licensing criteria and will now have to either appeal against the decision or seek exemption from the AIFF in order to take part in the cash-rich event starting on Friday. Odisha FC, NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad FC and new entrants Sporting Club East Bengal are the five clubs which were not handed licenses by the AIFF to be able to take part in AFC and national competitions this season.
For clubs to get licenses, they need to fulfil five main criterias — sporting, infrastructure, personnel and administrative, legal and financial. Each division has further sub-divisions.
Owing to the current situation, the Asian Football Confederation has been considerate enough to accommodate criteria exception and deadline extension requests made by AIFF throughout the licensing cycle of 2020-21 season.
The AIFF said that a decision on the club licensing applications of eight I-League clubs will be taken soon.