Indian sides told: Turn pro or face expulsion

KUALA LUMPUR - Indian League (IL) football clubs face expulsion from local and regional competitions unless they comply with Asian Football Confederation (AFC) rules.

The AFC wants to restrict the Asian Champions League to professional teams from next year while IL officials are also seeking to follow the same route with its 14 clubs.

On Thursday, the region's governing body said IL clubs must meet the requisite standards and that Asian officials would conduct inspections before a December 31 deadline.

"AFC will inform them about their shortcomings in (a) workshop on November 2," All Indian Football Federation general secretary Alberto Colaco told the AFC website.

"They will review and inspect the clubs again after the deadline. The clubs who don't meet the criteria will not be allowed to play in the 2012 edition of the I-League."

In addition to ordering clubs to conform to the rules regarding participation, the AFC also asked them to ensure IL players were not part of state league teams.

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