The All India Football Federation (AIFF) have exempted five Indian Super League Clubs - SC East Bengal, Odisha FC, Hyderabad FC, Kerala Blasters FC, and NorthEast United FC - despite them failing to incur licenses. The committee has also asked the clubs to make rectifications at the earliest.
With the Indian Super League season kick-starting on November 20 with a match between ATK Mohun Bagan and Kerala Blasters FC, five ISL clubs entered a position of non-compliance after failing to secure the National Licence for 2020-21 season. However, the All India Football Federation exempted them from that and the Club Licensing Committee allowed them to partake in the ISL this season.
"All 5 clubs SC East Bengal, Odisha FC, Hyderabad FC, Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC who failed to get the National Licence for 2020-21 season, sought an Exemption to participate in National Club Competitions of the 2020-21 season and have received the same from the AIFF's Club Licensing Committee -- First Instance Body with financial sanctions. The committee has also asked the clubs to make rectifications at the earliest," AIFF said in a statement.
"No appeals were lodged by any club against the decision of the AIFF's Club Licensing Committee -- First Instance Body," it added.
Speaking on the same, Odisha FC's Head of Football Operations Mr. Abhik Chatterjee shared his happiness, with the club asking everyone to rally behind them in the season ahead. Odisha FC will take on Hyderabad FC in their campaign opener on Monday.
“We would like to assure all the fans and various stakeholders in the Odisha Football circuit that the Club shall take part in the Indian Super League for 2020-21 as planned. We look forward to your support over the course of the season,” Chatterjee said in a press release shared by the club.