Super Cup: AIFF hopeful of resolving Minerva's concerns

Amid speculations that Minerva Punjab will withdraw from the inaugural edition of the Super Cup, the I-League  CEO, Sunando Dhar, is hopeful of resolving the concerns of the newly-crowned I-League champion side.

Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj had written a letter to the AIFF citing lack of financial aid, the nature of the cup competition and the weather conditions in Bhubaneshwar as the reasons to not participate in the month-long knock-out competition.   -  PTI

Amid speculations that Minerva Punjab will withdraw from the inaugural edition of the Super Cup, the I-League  CEO, Sunando Dhar, is hopeful of resolving the concerns of the newly-crowned I-League champion side.

Speaking to Sportstar, Dhar said, "Minerva has not pulled out of the Super Cup. They raised concerns about the competition - the expenses and other things. We will look to speak to them and resolve the matter." Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj had written a letter to the AIFF citing lack of financial aid, the nature of the cup competition and the weather conditions in Bhubaneshwar as the reasons to not participate in the month-long knock-out competition, according to reports.

Sportstar is in possession of the letter which the club had sent to the AIFF. "We (Minerva Punjab) have come to the conclusion that we cannot afford to participate in the upcoming Super Cup as according to the regulations there is no subsidy or financial  provisions for the clubs and clubs are supposed to bear complete expenditure for travel, stay and salaries for extra two months.

"There is no mention of even prize money of the tournament even though fines and financial  penalties have been written out in great detail. Even with very frugal spending the funds required for this tournament comes out to be around 50-55 Lakhs," the letter states.

"At the start of the season, the AIFF paid a substantially increased subsidy from that of the previous season. Last year's budget was enough to cover the expenses of the Federation Cup. With the increase in the budget there shouldn't be a need to pay anything extra to Minerva," Dhar responded. It was reported that Minerva required a sum of Rs. 50-55 lakh to play in the tournament, which will see the Indian Super League and I-League clubs play against each other. "Ranjit had mentioned a figure (in the letter), which I think is grossly over-budgeted. I don't think it will end up close to that amount," said Dhar.

On the criticism of the scheduling of the venue, Dhar said, "Matches will be played under the lights, the conditions won't be that bad. We will be finishing the tournament in the third week (of April), so I don't think it will be that big a problem."

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