With limited incentive on offer, Super Cup turning into a liability for all parties

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With limited sporting and financial gain for the clubs, the Super Cup has become an inconvenience...

The Super Cup is one competition which has been riddled with controversies ever since its inception last year. In its inaugural edition, the clubs had lambasted the organisers for scheduling it after the league culminated, as the players had no motivation to play and the federation just wanted to conduct one for the sake of it.

This time the tournament has lost already its sheen with three matches already finishing in a walkover. The majority of I-League clubs are sticking to their stand of not taking the pitch unless the All India Football Federation (AIFF) reschedules the three qualifiers.

The cup competition which was expected to take the place of the erstwhile Federation Cup, has been a massive flop so far. Now, it has become imperative that the AIFF must rethink the entire concept of the tournament, including the format, schedule and the incentive on offer for the clubs.

The Super Cup is organised at the fag end of the season with a gap of almost two weeks from the qualifiers which makes little sense. Nobody would even be remembering who played who in qualifiers by now, not that all the matches actually happened.

The tournament needs to be reschuduled from the next edition. It can either be held as a pre-season tournament or it can run in parallell with the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League.

East Bengal Bengaluru FC Super Cup 2018

If it is organised in the pre-season then the format must undergo a complete overhaul. A single match knock-out system will not benefit the clubs and again the tournament will be a meaningless exercise.

The Super Cup can always be conducted during the course of the season, just as most cup competitions are organised in Europe and other parts of the world.

The lack of a continental spot on the offering to the champions is also majorly demoralising. The clubs used to play Federation Cup with gusto and enthusiasm as they saw it as another opportunity to find a way to the AFC club competitions. With no such reward promised to Super Cup winners, most clubs (ISL) participate in it to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Mumbai has registered only one overseas player while the I-League clubs are still holding firm to their resolve of not taking the pitch.

If the organisers wants to make this a tournament worthy to be taken seriously by its primary stakeholders then they need to make some wholesale changes to the competition. For now, the tournament continues to be a Super Flop for the teams, organisers, broadcasters and sponsors.

This meaningless exercise has become a liability for all parties concerned.

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