A day after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced the inaugural Super Cup’s final round schedule, I-League clubs lambasted the football federation over the tournament’s format and schedule, calling it a ‘laughing stock.’
AIFF announced on Monday that the qualifiers of the Super Cup are scheduled to take place between March 12 to March 31 and the final round to be held from March 31 to April 22. In a report by Goal.com, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Minerva were not happy with the development and attacked the AIFF over the format, scheduling and overall management of the Super Cup.
Financial secretary of Mohun Bagan, Debashish Dutta, was quoted by Goal.com as saying, “The Super Cup has now become a laughing stock for us. We were previously told that it will be held in a round robin format. Now we find that it has become a one-match tournament.”
AIFF also said on Monday that a consensus on the number of foreigners will be arrived at after another round of discussion with stakeholders. “How many foreigners will they allow? They haven’t mentioned anything. They have already taken the opinion of the stakeholders. The meeting was convened only after taking into account all the opinions,” says Dutta.
The de-facto head of East Bengal, Debabrata Sarkar, agreed with Debashish and said, “It is not a Super Cup. It has now become a ‘Laughing Stock’ cup. If they continue to operate like this Indian Football is in danger. When we were having discussions regarding ISL and I-League with the AIFF, they promised us that the Super Cup will be held in league format with the teams divided into two groups. Then the top teams will progress to the knock-out stage. It has all come down to that one match and any team can have a bad day at office on that day. They could have done away with Super Cup instead of conducting it in this way.”
Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj said, “It is very unfair that the tournament is not being held in the round robin format. Moreover only eight teams should have been allowed to participate. The top four teams from I-League and ISL. They are giving a chance to everyone to play in the Super Cup. So, then how is it a Super Cup? It has become a ‘Everybody Cup’.”
When asked if they would write down their suggestions regarding the tournament, Bajaj and Dutta felt that it was a waste of time as their concerns would go unaddressed. “They are not going to listen to anyone. They have not asked our suggestions. It doesn’t matter to them. They only care about the broadcasters and what will suit them,” said Bajaj.
Dutta added that “writing letters to them (AIFF) is a waste of time.”