Super Cup 2018: Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj brands tournament as 'tamasha of highest order'

Minerva Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj is clearly not a fan of the upcoming Super Cup, which will see teams from both Indian leagues — the Indian Super League and the I-League — competing for the honour of being India's best football team for the season.

Having reportedly threatened to pull out of the tournament citing paucity of funds earlier, Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj has now come out and slammed the Super Cup as a 'tamasha'.

Minerva Punjab players celebrate their I-League title. Image courtesy: Twitter/@Minerva_AFC

Minerva Punjab players celebrate their I-League title. Image courtesy: Twitter/@Minerva_AFC

"I don’t care about the Super Cup at all. I think it is a ‘tamasha’ (drama) of the highest order," Bajaj was quoted saying by Goal.com.

Bajaj said that the club was struggling to cope up with the finances of participating in an additional tournament.

"For the Super Cup, if you have one bad match, you’re out but you have to pay two-month salary to the players. I have just come to know that I have to pay for my own boarding, lodging and travel and there is no subsidy. I can’t afford that. Just going there, according to my calculation is around Rs 40 lakh," he said before adding: "I am going to stay there thinking of playing the final and if that happens, I would have spent Rs 55-60 lakh from my pocket and that is 50 percent of my budget. So, I can’t do that. There is no way I will be able to do that."

Minerva Punjab defied all odds to become the new I-League champions earlier this month after a riveting title race which went down to the final day of the tournament. With the win, the club also qualified for the main draw of the inaugural Super Cup — the qualifiers for which will begin from 15 March in Bhubaneswar. Minerva will play Jamshedpur FC in the Round of 16 fixture.

During the I-League, Bajaj had also revealed that the Chandigarh-based side was yet to receive a substantial amount of money from the All India Football Federation (AIFF), something that is now becoming a stumbling block to their preparation for the upcoming cup competition.

Minerva Punjab have qualified for the 2019 AFC Champions League preliminary play-off with their title win and are at least guaranteed a spot in the AFC Cup, the second-tier continental competition in Asia.

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Updated Date: Mar 15, 2018 18:26:31 IST

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