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Its Official: No Pune FC and Bharat FC in I-League 2015/16

The speculations of Pune FC and Bharat FC's possible pulling out of I-League, India's Premier Football League have been proven true, with both teams failing to fulfill AFC as well as National Club Licencing Criteria. This bars both the clubs to participate in Hero I-League's 2015/16 Season.

AIFF's Club Licensing Committee announced today that Pune FC and Bharat FC have failed to fulfill financial and personal criterion according to AFC as well as National regulations. It might come as a shocker as Pune FC was one of the first clubs in India that fulfilled Club Licencing Criteria, when they were first introduced.

It was known for quite some time that both the Pune based teams would be pulling out of I-League but instead of announcing a public withdrawal, the clubs chose the route of failing licencing criteria.

With DSK Shivajians almost certain to get a direct entry to Hero I-League, Pune will continue to have their representation in India's top League. This almost means that next edition of I-League will be a ten team affair.

The Club Licencing Committee that met today at Football House, New Delhi also announced that reigning I-League Champions Mohun Bagan AC along with city rivals, East Bengal FC, Federation Cup Champions, Bengaluru FC and Goan Clubs Sporting Goa and Salgaocar FC satisfy AFC as well as National Licencing criteria.

Royal Wahingdoh and Mumbai FC though failed to satisfy AFC Criteria for Home Stadium, the did pass the National Licencing criteria, making them eligible to participate in Hero I-League's next edition.

Aizawl FC, who earned promotion to I-League after winning 2015 2nd Division League, failed to satisfy Infrastructural and Financial criteria but were given one-time exemption by the committee after being pleased with the sincere efforts that the Mizoram club is putting into.

Hero I-League's 9th edition is expected to kick start in first week of January 2016.

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