East Bengal and Mohun Bagan not to play Super Cup, others to follow suit
KOLKATA: The board of Quess East Bengal FC has decided to go with the alliance of the I-League clubs while virtually pulling out of the Super Cup, where it is scheduled to start the campaign on Saturday. The decision comes despite the stand taken by the executive committee of the club which was eager to convince investor Quess Corp to agree to field the senior team in the season-ending tournament.
According to a statement issued by the club, the members felt “it would be unethical for us to come out of the Alliance.” The statement quoted the East Bengal Club nominees in the board to be supporting the move to stand with the alliance, which was formed recently to draw the All India Football Federation to the discussion table on various issues relating to the Indian football ‘roadmap’ announced a couple of years ago. However, the board decided to forsake the I-League next season and bid for a spot in the Indian Super League “if the terms are financially acceptable.”
This in effect sees East Bengal joining rival Mohun Bagan for a cause as the latter is effectively leading the alliance in voicing the concerns of the clubs to the AIFF. Mohun Bagan is the only team not to have registered for the Super Cup while the other I-League teams qualifying to the tournament’s round-of-16 are eligible.
This means that apart from the two Kolkata clubs the other clubs in the alliance are looking for a way out.
The I-League champion, Chennai City FC, has already voiced its stand saying that it could reconsider its commitment to the alliance as it cannot put the AFC Champions League play-off spot at stake.
“Considering our AFC Champions League spot is at stake, we are contemplating playing the Super Cup,” felt Chennai Ctiy FC owner Rohit Ramesh. Teams like NEROCA FC and Churchill Brothers are also eager to play the Super Cup while Real Kashmir FC has already confirmed its participation.