Eight I-League Clubs withdraw from Super Cup even before the Tournament began

Rishav Roy  |  Super Cup  |  1 Week Ago

Indian football witnessed a major upset on Tuesday when eight I-League clubs decided to withdraw from the imminent Super Cup. The Super Cup is currently India’s elite knockout tournament which replaced the Federation Cup. This is played out between top teams from Indian Super League and I-League. Spearheaded by last year champions, Minerva Punjab, I-league stalwarts Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, NEROCA FC, Aizwal FC, Gokulam Kerala, Churchill Brothers and champions, Chennai City FC have withdrawn their nominations from the knockout fray.


The row between AIFF and the I-League clubs sparked a month ago when an official letter was drafted by Mohun Bagan to AIFF president, Praful Patel requesting a meeting to discuss the league’s future. The letter was signed by the remaining seven clubs. Unfortunately, AIFF’s failure to revert infuriated the clubs. I-league clubs were also vexed on the potential relegation of I-league into the second division of Indian football with the all-star ISL set to become the branded top league of the nation. AIFF secretary, Kushal Das confirmed that they had received the withdrawal letters of all the eight clubs.


Minerva Punjab accused AIFF of neglecting the I-league clubs in all aspects. Star sports declared on December 2018 that they will telecast only 30 out of the remaining 110 matches of I-league which mainly comprised the matches of East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Chennai City. However, as per inside sources, Kushal Das came up with an explanation which cited that I-League never really reaped profits vis-à-vis ISL.


This angered the other clubs but AIFF could not find out a proper solution to it. Later it was agreed that all the remaining matches will be available on online platforms like Hotstar and Jio TV. Real Kashmir’s matches would be telecasted on Doordarshan Kashmir.


This agreement was reached by Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), marketing partners of Indian football. I-league clubs have also cited the reason of over-involvement of FSDL into decision making who are forcing the I-league clubs out of the limelight.


The three clubs who did not pull out of the tournament are Srinagar Giants, Real Kashmir FC, Shillong Lajong, owned by AIFF vice-president, Ming Sawyan and, Indian Arrows which is AIFF’s development team. The qualification round will kick on March 16th while the main round will begin on March 29th.


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