Aizawl FC, crowned the I-League champions on Sunday, have been made aware of the club licensing criterion for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in order to be able to take part in the AFC Champions League, considered as the continent's most prestigious club competition.
As the national champions, they have secured an entry into the playoff stage of the Champions League, and have until August to mid-September to fulfill the aforementioned licensing criterion.
There are two licenses, the national license and the AFC license. While the national license allows clubs to participate in the AFC Cup, an AFC license is mandatory in order to partake in the AFC Champions League.
Indian heavyweights Mohun Bagan and East Bengal were denied an AFC license last year on account of not having AFC Pro-Licensed coaches, but with Aizawl gaffer Khalid Jamil already sporting those badges, it remains to be seen what other hurdles await the northeastern club.
Once the eligibility list is drafted by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), they approach the AFC with the same and the licensing process is taken forth.
Bengaluru FC, the dethroned I-League champions, are the only Indian club to have secured the AFC license, and they did so only last year. They featured in this season's AFC Champions League's playoff round, but were unable to impress and were knocked out by Jordanian side Al Wehdat.