Twelve top clubs of the country were on Tuesday given one-time exemption for the National Club License, clearing the decks for their participation in the I-League season expected to start next month.

The Club Licensing Committee First Instance Body which met in New Delhi on Tuesday decided to give one-time exemption so that they can participate in the upcoming 2013-14 football season.

The 12 clubs are Dempo SC, Salgaocar SC, Churchill Brothers, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Sporting Clube-de-Goa, United SC, Mohammedan Sporting, Mumbai FC, Rangdajied FC, Shillong Lajong FC and Pailan Arrows.

All the 12 clubs had requested for a year’s exemption to the Club Licensing Appeals Body which in turn had referred the case back to the Licensing Committee for a final decision.

Pune FC was the only club which has been granted the AFC and National License after complying with all ‘A’ Grade Criteria.

“This is the only exemption given to all the 12 clubs for the football season 2013-14. They will have to comply with all the ‘A’ Grade criteria just as Pune FC did for the National License from the 2014-15 Season onwards and no further exemption will be given if they fail to meet ‘A’ Grade criteria,” Chairman Girija Shanker Mungali said.

Besides Mr. Mungali, other members of Licensing Committee present at the meeting on Tuesday were advocate Ushanath Banerjee, Punkaj Jain, chartered accountant, and I-League CEO Sunando Dhar.

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