A six-member Asian Football Confederation team, inspecting the club licensing criteria, completed its assessment of the city's three I-League clubs here on Sunday.
“We inspected the provisions necessary for a club to qualify as a professional entity and will submit our report to AFC,” said Steve Hyung, who is the communication manager of the club competitions of the continental body.
In its two day visit, the six-member team, assisted by the I-League CEO Sunando Dhar and senior manager Sujesh Rajan, visited Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Chirag United SC and checked the playing and practice venues.
The team also studied the administrative structure of the clubs. Giving his views after the two-day inspection, Hyung said the city needs to improve its football infrastructure.
Among the areas that his team felt need to be developed include turf of practice grounds and the artificial turf of the main playing arena of the Salt Lake Stadium. The AFC communication manager said the practice venues need to be replaced with a better quality of grass while the artificial turf of the stadium needs proper maintenance.
The team also discussed the issue of the two city majors – East Bengal and Mohun Bagan – being owned by the same mother company, the UB Group. Hyung said a decision will be made after weighing the legal aspects of the arrangement.
The final report of the inspection team will be discussed in a workshop to be organised by the AFC at Football House in New Delhi on November 2. “The club licensing criteria will be discussed in the light of the reports with representatives of every I-League during the workshop,” the I-League CEO said. Failure to fulfil the criteria by December 31 may have the clubs losing the eligibility to play in the next season's (2011-12) I-League,” Dhar said.