Minerva Punjab pull out of Super Cup, cite unfair treatment to I-League clubs
Minerva Punjab FC Tuesday pulled out of the upcoming Super Cup citing unfair treatment to I-League clubs.
Former champions Minerva Punjab finished 10th in the just-concluded 2018-19 season of the league.
“I-League side Minerva Punjab FC have withdrawn from the upcoming Hero Super Cup 2019 tournament citing the unfair treatment dished out to the I-League teams. The club informed their decision through a letter sent to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) general secretary Mr Kushal Das today,” the club said in a statement.
The Super Cup is scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar, with the Qualifiers starting from March 15. The final is slated for April 13.
The club pointed out that the I-League clubs are being neglected in all aspects by the country’s football federation.
Eight I-League clubs had written a letter to the AIFF in February this year regarding multiple concerns such as the future of the league but they are “yet to hear back” from the federation.
The former champions also highlighted how the AIFF has “not provided any financial assistance to the participating teams” despite having a title sponsor for the event. With no AFC competitions also on offer, the club felt the competition lacked any incentive for the teams.
The Super Cup is a knockout tournament hosted by the AIFF where I-League teams lock horns against the Indian Super League teams. It is India’s main club knockout tournament and Minerva was scheduled to play the qualifying round against FC Pune City on the March 15.
The club said it will “now wait for a response from the AIFF” before making the next move.
Minerva Punjab FC finished 10th in the I-League standings with 17 points from 19 games though they are scheduled to play a rematch against third-placed Real Kashmir, the date of which is yet to be finalised, after refusing to travel to Srinagar for not getting security assurances in writing in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.