Seven I-League clubs, Chennai City FC, Quess East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, NEROCA FC, Aizawl FC, Gokulam Kerala FC and Minerva Punjab FC, have together issued a statement, which is in possession of indidatoday.in, that they have withdrawn from the Hero Super Cup, which is set to begin on Friday. They have given four reasons for their withdrawal, one of which is their unclear future in the progress of the game in the country.
Eight I-League clubs had together written a letter to All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel last month raising various issues pertaining to their future, the handling of the I-League and the functioning of football in the country.
The clubs are still awaiting a response from the AIFF.
For that reason, seven clubs have together made the decision to pull out from the Super Cup, which is supposed to pit I-League clubs and Indian Super League (ISL) franchises against each other in a knockout format.
The release further stated that because of the unclear future of the I-League and the clubs, they are finding it increasingly difficult to find sponsors.
Here is the full press release:
Greetings from Minerva Punjab FC. Please find below a Collective Press Release by the following seven I-League Clubs
- Chennai City FC
- Quess East Bengal
- Mohun Bagan
- NEROCA FC
- Aizawl FC
- Gokulam Kerala FC
- Minerva Punjab FC
We have together resolved to withdraw our respective teams’ participation from the upcoming Hero Super Cup 2019 due to the following reasons:
- Our letter dated 18th February requesting the General Secretary of AIFF to address the various issues of the I-League has not been responded to.
- No Clarity of the I-League and its future.
- Increasing inability to find financial sponsors in the absence of clarity of the League and its future
- Lack of an agenda for the game at the grass root level.
You will notice that the issues we stand for are not related to any single club but for the overall development of the game in India. The move isn’t targeted at any individual or entity but is aimed at ensuring that the agenda of the AIFF is focussed on the structure of Football and the development of the game.
All clubs are keen to play and win at every level for our fans and players. We hope that the AIFF will take necessary steps to address our issues and therefore enable the conduct of the tournament. Whenever our concerns are addressed, we are ready to play and look forward to the growth of this beautiful game in our country.