DD defender Pritam Kotal admits that the Super Cup qualifiers at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubhaneshwar will be marred by extremely hot conditions, and that will be detrimental, especially for foreign players. The AIFF had controversially chosen Bhubaneshwar against other, perhaps better, locations.
Summer in India is not something to take lightly, especially for foreigners from a European background who are used to living in a pleasant atmosphere all year round. But come this March, players who will participate in the AIFF Super Cup, which will begin later this month, will face the wrath of the Indian heatwave which gripped the country last year as well.
Delhi Dynamos defender, Pritam
“Bhubhaneshwar will be extremely hot in the summer and that is definitely going to trouble mostly foreign players. Some Indian players may also face trouble. It will be difficult, but having the Super Cup means more games for us players, which is never a bad thing,” Kotal told News18 Sports in a telephonic conversation.
The teams in domestic competitions have played 18 games on an average in the league stages if there weren’t any intercontinental commitments like the AFC Champions league or any other competition.
Towards the end of February, a short-termist AIFF introduced the Super Cup, which has garnered quite a few negative comments ever since. Jamshedpur FC’s coach Steve Coppell wasn’t impressed by the AIFF’s decision to introduce another cup. I-League champions Minerva Punjab’s owner expressed his discontent with the decision due to the added financial pressure that the tournament will bring.
Speaking at the draw of the Super Cup, AIFF Senior Vice President Mr. Datta said, quite myopically, “The Hero Super Cup was formatted to include Hero Indian Super League teams in a tournament along with the Hero I-League clubs. This tournament will fascinate and