New Delhi: Five Indian Super League clubs, which had failed to meet the AFC and national licensing criteria, have been granted exemption by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to participate in national club competitions of the 2020-21 season.
Odisha FC, NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad FC and Sporting Club East Bengal were the five clubs which were not handed licenses by the AIFF to be able to take part in AFC and national competitions this season. However, they will now be able to play in the seventh ISL season which begins on Friday in Goa.
"All 5 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," AIFF said in a statement on Thursday.
"No appeals were lodged by any club against the decision of the AIFF's Club Licensing Committee -- First Instance Body," it added.
FC Goa, ATK Mohun Bagan FC, Bengaluru FC, Jamshedpur FC, Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC had earlier successfully secured the AFC and national licences for the 2020-21 season.
A total of 19 clubs had applied for national and AFC club licences for the 2020-21 season, out of which 8 were from I-League and 11 from ISL.