Is the place of promoted Shillong Lajong FC in next seasons I-League in danger?
This is the threat which has come from the Asian Football Confederation's inspection team after they visited Shillong. The AFC team made it a point to say that Shillong's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was not up to the mark to host professional league football matches. The problems starts with the ground condition and continues with the lack of proper dressing rooms, medical room, doping testing centre plus lack of VIP stands and press box.
The AFC has given Shillong Lajong FC and the state of Meghalaya two months to put things in order, but the state government fears it will not be able to comply due to shortage of funds and the monsoon season.
Earlier numerous players from visiting teams amongst them Baichung Bhutia had criticized the ground conditions in Shillong during the 2nd Division I-League, which had been made worse by rains. Many had said the same as the AFC officials.
The four member AFC team and I-League CEO Sunando Dhar were on an inspection in Shillong following a visit to Goa were they inspected the facilities and club set-up of Sporting Clube de Goa. The assessment of the two promoted clubs where done by the AFC to ensure that these clubs comply with the AFC's Club Licensing criteria.
What the AFC would recommend if the conditions in Shillong aren't improved in the next couple of months is not known. It could be Lajong having to play their home matches elsewhere or the club being denied a place in the I-League.