New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) Only Pune FC were granted exemption to play in the I-League by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Wednesday while the cases of the 12 I-League clubs will be taken up by club licensing committee's first instance body when it meets Aug 27.
United Sikkim was the only club, among the 14 to flunk club licensing test, that didn't appeal for exemption since they have been relegated to the second division.
The exemption is mandatory, without which the clubs will not be allowed to compete in the I-League.
The committee, headed by retired judge N.K. Sud, reviewed the appeal filed by Pune FC and felt that the first instance body should have considered the supplementary report placed by the licensing manager.
The committee felt that there was no non compliance with 'A' Grade criteria and the only non compliance was really delayed submission of certain documents regarding criteria 'A.'
Since the club licensing regulations empowers the licensing manager to entertain documents if sufficient reasons exist after the deadline, the committee accepted the appeal of Pune FC and ordered the grant of both Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and national license to Pune for the 2013-14 season.
The committee alo referred the case of 12 clubs to the first instance body. It felt that the applications merely was a prayer for seeking exemption and are not appeals against the decision of the first instance body.
The 12 clubs are Dempo SC, Salgaocar SC, Churchill Brothers, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Sporting Clube de Goa, Prayag United SC, Mohammedan Sporting, Mumbai FC, Rangdajied FC, Shillong Lajong FC and Pailan Arrows.
The AIFF's Club Licensing Committee, headed by Girija Shanker Mungali, had refused to clear the 14 applicants. The decision in this regard was based on the report of a five-member AIFF team that inspected all the clubs during May-June.
The AIFF started the process in January 2013 to implement Indian Club Licensing for the first time. This included an inspection of all the clubs in May and June when a five-member team, that included national coach Wim Koevermans, visited the I-League clubs.