I-League champion Chennai City FC yet to receive prize money

Chennai City FC is yet to receive its prize money of Rs 1 Crore from the AIFF, even 106 days after its I-League triumph.

Chennai City FC I-League 2018-19 champion

Chennai City FC players celebrate after winning the 2018-19 I-League title.   -  S. Siva Saravanan

It has been 106 days since Chennai City FC beat Minerva Punjab to lift the I-League title, but the club is yet to receive its prize money from the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Chennai City stands to pocket Rs 1 Crore for its title triumph.

"We won the I-League three months ago but are yet to get our prize money. We sent a letter to the AIFF three weeks ago asking them for an update, but have not heard from them yet," Rohit Ramesh, owner of Chennai City, told Sportstar.

Fellow I-League clubs such as Minerva Punjab and Gokulam Kerala FC are also yet to receive their subsidies of Rs 15 lakh for the season. Gokulam, in fact, is to get Rs 25 lakh including the reimbursement of floodlight charges.

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Last season's I-League champion, Minerva Punjab FC received its prize money only after threatening the AIFF to boycott the Super Cup last year. "We sent them a letter saying that we would pull out of the Super Cup due to a lack of funds. They gave us the prize money within the next three days," said Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj.

Aizawl FC, which had won its maiden I-League title in the 2016-17 season, was also made to wait for close to four months until it received its prize money.

Despite repeated attempts, AIFF officials were unavailable for comment, while one senior source hinted that it could be "due to a paucity of funds."