Churchill Brothers became the eighth I-League club to pull out of the upcoming Super Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar from March 29-April 13.
With the qualifiers scheduled to start on Friday, I-League sides Minerva Punjab, Aizawl and Gokulam Kerala who are scheduled to play the pre-tournament qualification games on March 15 and 16 are yet to confirm their participation in the Super Cup.
The Super Cup is a knockout tournament that was introduced last season, where clubs from I-League and ISL go up against each other.
Earlier, seven sides from the I-League, including newly crowned champions Chennai City, decided to pull out of the season-ending tournament protesting against the All India Football Federation’s expected decision to include the two Kolkata giants in the Indian Super League and crown it the top-tier.
In their list of grievances, the clubs also listed “increasing inability to find financial sponsors in the absence of clarity of the League and its future” among their points.
Churchill had been re-included in the top division in 2016 after the pull-out of all clubs from Goa. After Dempo, Sporting Clube de Goa and Salgaocar had each withdrawn from the I-League, the AIFF had reinstated Churchill after axing the Red Machines in 2015 for failing to fulfill the Asian Football Confederation’s licensing criteria.
The team finished fourth in this season’s I-League and defeated newly-crowned champions Chennai City 3-2 in their penultimate game of the season.