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Super Cup 2019: 'AIFF is trying to break this group of I-League clubs,' says Gokulam Kerala president VC Praveen

16:50 SAST 2019/03/22
Praveen VC Gokulam Kerala
The president of Gokulam Kerala FC has questioned the AIFF's decision-making regarding the 2019 Super Cup...

Gokulam Kerala FC president Praveen VC questioned the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) reluctance to reschedule the 2019 Super Cup qualifiers which were adjudged as walkovers.

The I-League clubs had expressed their willingness to participate in the Super Cup if they get a meeting with the AIFF president Praful Patel and the competition is given a reboot. While Patel agreed to meet the clubs in April. the AIFF has denied their request to start the tournament from scratch as it is against the regulations .

Speaking to Goal , Praveen raised questions as to why the AIFF could not reschedule the matches despite the FA doing the same in I-League when Minerva Punjab refused to play against Real Kashmir FC.

He said, “In the I-League, if AIFF can reschedule the match between Real Kashmir and Minerva even after Real Kashmir turned up and Minerva did not show then why can't they do the same for the qualifiers of the Super Cup? Chennai City are already crowned champions but still, the match will happen. It is the same federation who are handling the things, then why have different rules for different competitions.

“Our team (Gokulam Kerala), Minerva Punjab and Aizawl were supposed to play the qualifiers and we were ready to play. We were going to spend from our pockets for accommodation and travel. We spent to travel to Bhubaneswar. For football, we are ready to do anything but why have different rules," Praveen questioned.

The saga took another turn when Real Kashmir, one of nine I-League clubs that withdrew from the 2019 Super Cup, informed AIFF of their decision to play the competition.

“They initially told us that they will be part of our movement, they had also informed the AIFF. But later they come under some pressure, they were getting some subsidy from the state government. Probably AIFF imposed some pressure. They (AIFF) are just trying to break this group," Praveen said.

The club president, when asked if the other I-League clubs are still standing firm with their decision, said, “Till date that is the understanding that all the other clubs will not participate which has been our stand from day one.”