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1-min read

WATCH | Sunil Chhetri Calls for Reworked Allocation of AFC Cup Slots

According to the current rule, last season’s champions Chennaiyin FC will be participating in the AFC Cup this year, along with Minerva Punjab who won the I-League.

News18 Sports

Updated:November 20, 2018, 2:39 PM IST
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WATCH | Sunil Chhetri Calls for Reworked Allocation of AFC Cup Slots
According to the current rule, last season’s champions Chennaiyin FC will be participating in the AFC Cup this year, along with Minerva Punjab who won the I-League.
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Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri took to social media with a message requesting a change in the allocation of the continental spots to the Indian clubs.

In a video posted on his personal Twitter handle, the forward said that the AFC Cup spot, in the Indian Super League, should be awarded to the winners of the league stage and not the eventual winners of the competition.

According to the current rule, last season’s champions Chennaiyin FC will be participating in the AFC Cup this year, along with Minerva Punjab who won the I-League. This is the first time in the last four years that Bengaluru FC will not be part of the continental tournament after being losing finalists in 2016.

“I think when you work hard as a team for 18 weeks, you deserve to be called the champions of India. The minimum that you deserve is an AFC slot. I’m not saying it because of what’s happening right now. But last two years, I’ve played for clubs that have won the league and eventually lost the trophy,” Chhetri said.

“The semi-finals are great for the fans, the atmosphere, everything is interesting and then they’re getting the ISL trophy. But I believe the AFC slot should go to the one who’ve worked so hard for 18 weeks because it’s not easy to be consistent for 18 weeks. I just hope that sooner or later, the rule changes,” the 34-year-old added.

Last season, Bengaluru FC finished top of the table after the league stage in the 10-team competition before losing the final at home. Chhetri’s teammate, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had also remarked last season that the best had won the league on social media.

The 2017/18 season, the fourth edition, was the first time that an AFC Cup slot was awarded to the ISL.

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| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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