Mumbai: ATK head coach Steve Coppell has blasted the All India Football Federation for the way it has handled the Hero Super Cup and said that the tournament “lost all credibility” when seven I-League teams pulled out of it.
“I realised it has to be played. The arrangements, I felt were poor, the training facilities were unprofessional,” Coppell said about the competition after his side’s 2-0 loss to Chennaiyin FC in the semifinal of the Super Cup.
The tournament has been mired in controversy ever since seven I-League teams pulled out from the qualifiers and the main round as a form of protest against the AIFF over its plans to elevate Indian Super League as the top tier league from next season, leaving the status of the country’s current top division league, I-League, uncertain.
Coppell said the lack of clarity on the season calendar worries him. “Nobody knows what the league is going to be next year, nobody knows when it’s going to start, nobody knows anything. There must be transparency in planning going forward as to what’s the end game or what people are trying to produce,” he said.
He added that the authorities really need to re-think about where this competition sits. “I have said that it has to be a pre-season competition or during the middle of the season,” he said.
“The ISL has helped the national team but this competition has just been bolted on. It needs to have meaning. At the moment it’s all ‘We got to do that so let’s do it’,” he said.