For the first time since 2017, Mumbai will finally have a team in the I-League. Kenkre FC made the cut after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) banned Chennai City FC from participating in the upcoming edition of the I-League for failing to comply with most of the mandatory AIFF Club Licensing Regulation.
Kenkre FC, which finished second in the I-League qualifiers, will now replace Chennai City FC.
The last time a Mumbai club played in the I-League, then the country’s top football league, was in Mumbai FC in 2017.
As per AIFF, it will not grant the exemption sought by the Chennai City FC as the club has already got additional opportunity to comply with most of the mandatory licensing regulations.
“The AIFF Club Licensing Committee has taken strong exception to Chennai City FC (the "Club") for failing to comply with most of the mandatory AIFF Club Licensing Regulations for the forthcoming Hero I-League 2021-22 despite giving additional opportunity after assurances from the Club including a detailed conference call,” the AIFF said in a statement.
“With the I-League scheduled to kick-off later this month, the committee wasn't in any position to give any more opportunities to the Club, and henceforth, has unanimously decided to not grant the Exemption sought by the Club, after having failed to receive the ICLS Premier 2 Licence of 2021-22 season. As a result of not receiving the Licence or the Exemption, the Club is thus barred from participating in the Hero I-League 2021-22,” it added.
The AIFF mentioned that the club is also serving a FIFA transfer ban which doesn't allow them to sign players.
“In accordance with the powers vested, the AIFF League Committee proposed the name of Kenkre FC as a replacement for Chennai City FC in the Hero I-League 2021-22. This decision has been ratified by the AIFF Emergency Committee,” the AIFF further said.
The I-League will kick-off in Kolkata from December 26 and the fixtures will be announced soon.
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