ISL, I-League teams to play in AIFF Super Cup

The qualifiers for the Super Cup are to be played between March 12, 2018 and March 31, 2018 while the final round will be held between March 31, 2018 to April 22, 2018.

Jawaharlal Nehru stadium Kochi

The AIFF Committee decided on the schedule of the inaugural Super Cup. (file image)   -  H. Vibu

The All India Football Federation Senior Vice-President Subrata Dutta conducted an AIFF League Committee meeting at the headquarters in New Delhi on Monday, along with other AIFF members, as they discussed the outline of the upcoming Super Cup.

The Committee also decided on the schedule of the tournament. The qualifiers for the event would be played between March 12 and 31, while the final round is scheduled to be held between March 31 and  April 22.

The schedule is to be finalised considering the AFC Cup commitments of Aizawl FC and JSW Bengaluru FC, while the venue could be either of Cuttack or Kochi, which would be finalised following an AIFF inspection.

Also, the number of foreign player's participation call would be taken following a discussion with the shareholders.

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The tournament would consist of 16 teams and would be played on a knockout basis. The top six teams of the I-League and Hero Indian Super League would be given a bye to the pre-quarters, while the bottom-placed teams from both the leagues will be playing a playoff round to make way into the final four spots.

The Committee also discussed regarding the 2nd Division league, and it was decided to be split into two halves.

"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 to 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," said AIFF in a press release.

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"Each club can register maximum 3 foreign players for the 2nd division league out of which one player has to be a national of an AFC Member Association," it added.

The Committee also decided to launch leagues based on specific age-groups in the states under the State Associations. The top teams of each age-group would be able to participate in AIFF age-group leagues.