I-League Gives ONGC, Air India The Boot With Two New Corporate Teams As Replacements
However "impressive ONGC and Air India's performance" may have been this season, "it will still not be enough for them to earn a place in the next edition of the I-League," according to Marcus Mergulhao of the TIMES OF INDIA. The All India Football Federation exec committee has confirmed that the two institutional teams in the I-League failed to meet the club licensing criteria and thus "will not be allowed to continue in the league." Instead, their place in the competition will be handed over to two new corporate teams that AIFF President Praful Patel is confident, has "many takers." The AIFF said in a statement: "The committee decided to bid for two new clubs in the 2013-14 edition of the I-League." This move means that ONGC and Air India "are now definitely out, even if they, on the evidence of the current standing, finish above the relegation zone." I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said, "It's not a question of relegation. It's a matter of ONGC and Air India not fulfilling the club licensing criteria, and there is no place in the league teams who do not do that" (TIMES OF INDIA, 1/16).