Steve Coppell blasts AIFF for unprofessional organization of Super Cup

The ATK boss was unhappy with the organisation, training facilities and scheduling of the Super Cup ...

ATK’s season came to a disappointing end as Chennaiyin FC knocked them out of the Super Cup with a 2-0 win in the semi-final.

Head coach Steve Coppell felt that the first goal was meant to be vital and it panned out accordingly. He also admitted that they missed the presence of suspended Pronay Halder in midfield.

“We didn’t get the flow in our play. At half-time, I thought it would go till the end and possibly extra-time. But the goal we conceded after just five minutes – it was a comedy of errors as far as I was concerned.

“I always thought that the first goal was going to be vital and that proved to be the case. I think it might have gotten interesting in the end if we had scored in the last 10 minutes but their goalkeeper made a couple of terrific saves. It wasn’t meant to be. So now we go home and think about things. It’s a shame to think that the season is over.

“Pronay is a top Indian player and we missed his presence for sure. We missed his drive in midfield. I’m not making any excuses but we had some players who were nowhere close to being 100 per cent, but suspensions are part of the game,” he said.

The Englishman lashed out at the unprofessional organisation of the Super Cup and called for more transparency in the future of the leagues in India. He is of the opinion that the Super Cup was an ill-organised, meaningless tournament.

“I have to be careful about what I say about this competition. It lost all credibility when the I-League teams pulled out. I realised that it has to be played. I felt that the arrangements were poor and training facilities were unprofessional. I think whoever is in-charge should have a real rethink about where this competition sits.

“I have said for many years that it should be a pre-season competition or a during-season competition. Nobody knows what the league’s going to be next season, when it’s going to start, the structure or anything.

“I think there has to be transparency in planning, going forward. What’s the endgame, what are people planning to produce? It’s helped the national team – the I-league, or rather the ISL. This competition needs to have a meaning. I think at the moment it’s just “we got to do, so let’s do,” Coppell concluded.