In a boost to Pune FC, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) accepted its appeal and granted the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) criteria and National Licence to the club for the 2013-14 season. With the AIFF nod, PFC has been granted exemption to play in the I-League.
The decision was taken at the AIFF’s club licensing appeals committee meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. Pune FC is the only team to get the nod so far. United Sikkim is the only club, among the 14 to 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 won’t be allowed to compete in I-League.
As regards the letters received from 12 other clubs, the committee felt that these applications merely contain a prayer for seeking exemption and are not appeals against the decision of the First Instance Body. Accordingly, these applications should be referred back to the club licensing committee for appropriate action. They are likely meet on August 27.
“We have managed to fulfil the criteria because of the hardwork put in by the administrative staff,” said Chirag Tanna, head (operations), Pune FC.
The committee felt that the Club Licensing First Instance Body should have considered the supplementary report placed by the licensing manager that states 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.’ The other 12 clubs still awaiting AIFF clearance include Dempo SC, Salgaocar SC, Churchill Brothers, East Bengal and Mohun