Chennai City FC set to miss I-League this year
Failed to comply with Club Licensing Regulations, says AIFF
The All India Football Federation on Saturday announced that former I-League champion Chennai City FC will not be allowed to play in the upcoming season of the league for failing to comply with Club Licensing Regulations.
The new season is set to start on Dec. 26 and CCFC’s place will be taken by Kenkre FC, which finished second in the Hero I-League Qualifiers held in Bengaluru earlier this year.
Impact of COVID-19
However, CCFC owner Rohit Ramesh said that it had informed the federation that it was not in a position to play in the upcoming season anyway due to the impact of COVID-19 on club revenues and the recent rains in Chennai impacting its preparations as well.
In a statement, the federation said, “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.”
Explaining the reasons for not wanting to play this year, Rohit said, “Due to the pandemic, all the clubs have taken a big financial hit and we just managed to field a team last year. We were unable to even commence the club licensing process due to a delay in obtaining the affiliation letter from the Tamil Nadu Football Association which put us at a disadvantage.
“While it is unfortunate that we can’t play this year, we are hopeful of making a strong comeback next year and continue to promote football in the State and the country,” he added.