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Kalinga Super Cup to kick-off in January 2024

The Super Cup gets renamed as Kalinga Super Cup with winners earning ACL 2 qualification. It is scheduled to start in January 2024.

Last updated: 14.12.2023
Kalinga Super Cup to kick-off in January 2024

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The All India Federation or AIFF officially announced on Wednesday, 29 November 2023 that the fourth edition of the Super Cup, renamed as Kalinga Super Cup will take place in Odisha from January 9, 2024. As usual, both Indian Super League and I-League teams will participate in the annual tournament. The competition has also been rebranded to be known as Kalinga Super Cup for its hosting destination this time. Coincidentally, Odisha FC are also the reigning champions of the tournament having lifted the trophy in Kerala in April.

The last edition of the Super Cup played this year was supposed to be its last one as AIFF announced plans to revive the historic Federation Cup in the present campaign. However, a congested calendar disrupted those proceedings and the Super Cup is set to continue as of now. The winners of the competition will also earn a place in the 2024-25 AFC Champions League 2. The draw for the tournament will be conducted on December 18, 2023.



The format for the competition remains the same as before. There will be four groups consisting of four teams with the games played in a single round-robin format. The winners from each group will qualify for the semi-finals to decide the two teams going into the final on January 28, 2024. The matches are planned to be held in two different venues in Odisha.

Participating Teams

All of the 12 clubs in the ISL will compete in the Kalinga Super Cup directly. However, only  five teams have confirmed their participation with four qualifying for the tournament. The top three sides from those participating, depending on standings in I-League till Sunday, 17th December 2023,  will qualify directly. The remaining two teams will play a playoff to decide the final team.     

Clash with the Asian Cup

The timing of the Super Cup has changed from the last edition with the present edition of the tournament set to be hosted in mid-season and not at the end of it as previously happened. However, that creates a problem as the competition is going to coincide with the AFC Asian Cup taking place in January at the same time in Qatar. The Indian Super League will take a break with the period being used to host the Kalinga Super Cup.    


Lack of National Team players

Certain ISL clubs who will be releasing national team players for India’s Asian Cup camp are on the back foot even before kicking a ball in the Super Cup. Their Indian stars will not be available for the tournament because of the time clash with their national duties. The likes of Mumbai City and Mohun Bagan Super Giant releasing the majority of the Indian players could be at a disadvantage for the entire tournament. On the other hand, I-league teams will not be impacted by the issue with their Indian player staying with the squad throughout.  

Foreign Quota

To tackle the issue and the competition’s winners getting an AFC slot, AIFF decided to allow the clubs to register up to six foreign participating players in the match-day squad. The participating teams will also be allowed to start their matches with a maximum of six foreign players on the pitch. In case, more than five foreign players are selected, then at least one of these players must hold the nationality of a Member Association of the Asian Football Confederation. This is per the AFC rule of their competitions.  

AFC Qualification

The winners of the tournament will be given the chance to venture on the Asian stage once again. Last time, Odisha FC entered the AFC Cup group stage after winning the competition. The champion team of this edition will get a slot in the for the AFC Champions League 2. The ACL2 is the new second-string competition introduced by the AFC from next season as part of their plan to revamp club competitions in the continent.

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