Cuttack and Kochi shortlisted as possible venues for inaugural Super Cup

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Cuttack and Kochi shortlisted as possible venues for inaugural Super Cup

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SportsCafe Desk

02/21/2018

AIFF has shortlisted Cuttack and Kochi as possible venues for the inaugural Super Cup involving the top teams from both ISL and I-League with the knockouts scheduled to start on March 31. AIFF has decided to ditch Goa as a venue option to give other stadiums a chance to host a tournament.

AIFF had announced the commencement of the inaugural Super Cup from March 12 till April 22. A total of 16 teams will take part in this Cup and the top six teams from ISL and I-League will get a direct entry into the round of 16 ties. The bottom-placed teams from both the leagues will take part a playoff round to decide on the remaining four spots. AIFF has shortlisted Cuttack and Kochi as possible venues to host the Super Cup.

Reportedly, AIFF would prefer Cuttack’s Barabati Stadium over Kochi’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium as the venue to host the Super Cup.

“The Barabati Stadium which is where the AIFF wants to host the event is used for both football and cricket and hence has a cricket pitch in the center of the ground. The Kochi ground too has a cricket pitch but it was covered well because of the U-17 World Cup last year. Also, you need to provide accommodation for 16 teams, which is a lot to ask from Cuttack,” said source to TOI

The decision on the venue will be taken next week after AIFF complete the inspection of the grounds. AIFF decided to go with the non-IPL hosting cities as the tournament it clashing with the first half of the IPL.

“Since the tournament is clashing with the Indian Premier League (IPL), we wanted non-IPL venues and therefore shortlisted these two (Cuttack and Kochi). The Odisha football officials contacted us and assured us that they could host the tournament as well as provide accommodation. So we’ll inspect it and take it from there,” I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said.

When asked why Goa wasn’t shortlisted, Dhar said that they host quite a lot of tournaments there and so wanted other centers to host it. The AIFF  received a lot of criticism on social media for having the event as a knockout tournament, as opposed to an 8-team round-robin format.

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