Super Cup 2018: Provisional dates for inaugural edition out, 16 teams will be fighting for the title
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has finalized the first ever Super Cup in India which will be a 16-team affair. It will be replacing the previously held Federation Cup and will include teams from both the Indian Super League and the I-League.
The top six teams in both leagues will be given direct entry into the Super Cup while the bottom four teams in both leagues will undergo play-offs.
The provisional dates for the playoffs are from March 12, 2018, to March 31, 2018 whereas those of the Super Cup are from March 31, 2018, to April 22, 2018. These dates have been chosen keeping in mind India's friendly against Kyrgyzstan on March 27, 2018, and the AFC Cup commitments of Aizawl FC and Bengaluru FC(subject to their qualification into the group stages). ISL is set to get over on March 17 and I-League will conclude on March 7.
The tournament will take place in the knockout format at either Cuttack or Kochi after AIFF's inspection of the venues.
As per the current league tables, the teams that might get direct entry from the ISL are Bengaluru FC, Pune City FC, Chennaiyin FC, Jamshedpur FC, Kerala Blasters and FC Goa and the teams that might get direct entry from the I-League are NEROCA, Minerva Punjab, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Shillong Lajong, Aizawl FC
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 to sign more than six foreign players, with two of them being from Asian confederation.
The winner will be getting the same amount as that of Federation Cup, that is, 25 lakh rupees while the runner-up will get 15 lakh rupees. However, the prize money is undergoing revision and might be increased by a fair amount.