AIFF to host inaugural 16-team Super Cup, ISL and I-League teams to face off against each other
The All India Football Federation (AIFF), after holding a meeting in New Delhi on Monday, decided to go forward with its plans for the Super Cup, a tournament that will pit eight teams each from the I-League and the ISL competing against each other.
The committee decided that the teams that finish in the top six positions in each of the two leagues, will get direct entry into the 16-team event. The bottom four sides from the two leagues will head into a qualifier, to fill up the quota of a total of 16 teams. The tournament is set to be played in a knockout format.
As of now, the Super Cup qualifiers are set to be played between March 12 and March 31, while the tournament proper is set to get underway thereafter, starting with the Round of 16 stage. The Super Cup final is expected to be played on April 22.
The foreigner issue
Recently, I-League giants Mohun Bagan have raised the issue of disparity between the number of foreign players in the ISL and the I-League club squads. While the ISL allows the teams to sign eight foreigners, the I-League follows AFC regulations, which does not permit a club from signing more than six foreign players, with two of them being from Asian confederation.
In a letter to the AIFF, Mohun Bagan had complained about this disparity in the number of foreign players and had requested the country’s apex football governing body to level the playing field for all the sides. The Green and Maroons also suggested the AIFF to follow the AFC regulations for the Super Cup.
Although the committee discussed the issue of the number of foreign players to be allowed, a final decision on this matter is yet to be taken, after the federation holds meetings with all the stakeholders involved.