Churchill Brothers reinstated in I-League

The two-time I-League champion will be the only club from Goa in the national competition, as of now, after Dempo SC, Sporting Clube-de Goa and Salgaocar pulled out of League, citing the AIFF's lackadaisical approach towards the country's premier club tournament.

Churchill Brothers players celebrate with their fans after winning the 2012-13 I-League.

The All India Football Federation reinstated Churchill Brothers SC in the I-League today. The national body had called for an emergency meeting, headed by its president, Praful Patel, to discuss the fate of the Goan club, which was debarred from participating in the national competition in 2014 after it had failed to adhere to the Asian Football Confederation's club licensing criteria.

The Goan club had lodged an appeal in the Delhi High Court, challenging the Federation's decision to debar it, on November 23, 2016. The Delhi High Court responded by asking the AIFF to take into account the club's long service to Indian football and reconsider its decision.

READ: >Churchill Brothers to take in more Goan players

"The members of the Emergency Committee discussed the directives of the Honourable Delhi High Court, dated November 28, 2016, in detail. It was observed by the Committee that the Honourable Delhi High Court has directed the AIFF to take into account the track record and history of Churchill Brothers while considering their representation," read a statement from the AIFF.

“In compliance with the specific direction of the Honourable High Court and also Churchill Brothers Sports Club’s commitment to fulfilling the licensing criteria as stipulated in the order, dated November 28, 2016, the Committee unanimously decided to allow them to participate in the season 2016-17.”

The two-time I-League champion will be the only club from Goa in the national competition, as of now, after Dempo SC, Sporting Clube-de Goa and Salgaocar pulled out of the League, citing the AIFF's lackadaisical approach towards the country's premier club competition.

As for Barthez Goa, Chennai City FC and Minerva FC (Delhi), who have applied for a direct entry into the I-League, the AIFF general-secretary, Kushal Das, said, "Their proposal will be considered during a meeting on December 11."

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