AIFF announces plans for Super Cup

New Delhi [India], Feb 19:  The much talked about Super Cup will consist of 16 teams in its inaugural edition, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) league committee decided in a meeting here on Monday. The meeting was chaired by senior vice-president Subrata Dutta and was also attended by deputy chairman Lalnghinglova Hmar, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das, I-LeagueCEO Sunando Dhar, AIFF COO Kishore Taid and AIFF AGS Competitions Anil Kamat. The Cup will be played on a knock-out basis among 16 teams, AIFF informed in a media release. The qualifiers will be played between March 12 and March 31 while the final round will be held between March 31 and April 22. The schedule is yet to be finalised keeping in mind the AFC Cup commitments of Aizawl FC and JSW Bengaluru FC. The venue for the Super Cup will be either Cuttack or Kochi. A final decision on it will be taken after inspections by the AIFF. The final decision on the number of foreign players to be registered for the tournament will be taken after discussion with all stakeholders. The top six teams of the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL) would be granted a direct entry into the round of 16, while the bottom-placed teams from both the leagues would be playing a play-off to decide on the remaining four spots. The committee also discussed regarding the 2nd Division league, and it was decided to be split into phases- the preliminary and the final. In the preliminary stage, 18 teams will be divided into three groups where all matches would be played on a home and away basis. The winners of each group plus the best second-placed team would qualify for the final round. However, if reserve teams of ISL clubs finish as winners or runners-up in any group, the position will be passed on onto the next non-ISL team. The final round will be played at a central venue, the winners of which would be promoted to the next tier of Indian Football. Each club can register maximum three foreign players for the 2nd division league out of which one player has to be a national of an AFC Member Association.
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