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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FA Cup champions Kedah denied entry to 2018 AFC Cup

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and Dez Corkhill discuss Kelantan's great escape from relegation and prospects for the 2018 season.

Malaysia FA Cup champions Kedah will miss out on next year's AFC Cup after the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) revealed that they had failed to meet the deadline to obtain the necessary licence.

Kedah had qualified for the competition after winning May's final. But their place is now likely to go to Pahang, whom they beat 3-2 at Shah Alam Stadium.

A statement on the FAM website outlined the reasons why they were unable to issue the license.

"With regards to Kedah, it is very clear that only clubs which fulfil the criteria set out in the regulations at the deadlines defend by FAM will be granted a license [AFC and National]," the FAM statement said.

"At this date, Kedah was not able to submit their audited account which is a mandatory criteria. AFC also made it clear that no documents outside the AFC Club Licensing Administrative System (CLAS) can be considered."

The FAM moved to prevent any suggestions that they were not treating Kedah fairly by explaining that any breach of the rules could result in punishment for the association as a whole.

"Should Kedah [have] been issued an AFC license and nominated for the AFC Cup, it would possibly mean that on an audit by AFC, they may find that the license was wrongfully issued and penalise FAM accordingly.

"Kedah have been given every opportunity to comply with all regulations before the FIB and though they have failed to be granted an AFC License, they have been granted a national license to participate in Super League 2018."

The FAM also indicated that another club would take the place of Kedah, but have yet to confirm the identify of that club.

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