Minerva Pull Out of Super Cup Over ‘Unfair Treatment’ to I-League
File picture of Minerva Punjab FC players celebrating after winning the I-League 2017/18.
File picture of Minerva Punjab FC players celebrating after winning the I-League 2017/18.(Photo: The Quint)

Minerva Pull Out of Super Cup Over ‘Unfair Treatment’ to I-League

Minerva Punjab FC on Tuesday, 12 March, pulled out of the upcoming Super Cup citing unfair treatment to I-League clubs.

2017/18 I-League winners Minerva, who finished 10th in the just-concluded 2018/19 season of the league, pointed the neglect of I-League clubs in all aspects by the country’s football federation as the reason behind their withdrawal.

“I-League side Minerva Punjab FC have withdrawn from the upcoming Hero Super Cup 2019 tournament citing the unfair treatment dished out to the I-League teams.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.”
Minerva Punjab FC statement

The Super Cup is scheduled to be begin with the qualifiers stage from Friday, 15 March in Bhubaneswar, with the final slated for 13 April.

Also Read : Minerva Punjab to Get Maximum Security for Srinagar I-League Match

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 were scheduled to play the qualifying round against FC Pune City on Friday.

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.

Also Read : I-League 2018-19: From Chennai’s Win to Real Kashmir’s Dream Debut

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