Hero Super Cup draw held at Football House, tournament kicks off on April 3 in Kerala

NEW DELHI: The Indian Football calendar is a burgeoning one, and the 2022-23 season has seen it grow further. Now winding down towards the business end of the season, Indian Football fans are all set to be treated with yet another top tournament – the Hero Super Cup, the draw for which was held at the Football House in New Delhi on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

For the first time ever, the Hero Super Cup will be held in Kerala. Sixteen teams are set to fight it out for India’s premier cup competition, and in an unprecedented move, the winners of the Hero Super Cup will also get a chance to play at the continental level. The champions of the Hero Super Cup will fight it out in a play-off against last season’s Hero I-League champions Gokulam Kerala FC, to determine who will get an entry into the AFC Cup South Zone group.

The tournament will see participation from 11 teams from the Hero Indian Super League and ten teams from the Hero I-League. The eleven teams of the Hero ISL and the winners of the Hero I-League get a direct entry into the group stage of the competition.

Seven teams from the Hero I-League (those ranked from second to eighth) will have a set of playoff qualifiers to get into the group stage of the tournament. Furthermore, the teams ranked ninth and tenth will play a qualifying playoff and the winners will get a place in the qualifiers.

The draw for the Hero Super Cup saw the 16 participating teams divided into four groups of four. Group A consists of Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters FC, newly crowned Hero I-League champions RoundGlass Punjab FC and the winners of the qualifier between the second-ranked Hero I-League team and the team that won the eliminator.

Group B consists of Hyderabad FC, Odisha FC, East Bengal FC and the winners of the playoff between the Hero I-League teams ranked fourth and seventh. ATK Mohun Bagan, Jamshedpur FC, FC Goa and the winners of the playoff between the teams ranked third and eighth in the Hero I-League are in Group C.

Group D consists of the newly crowned Hero ISL 2022-23 League Shield winners Mumbai City FC, Chennaiyin FC, North East United FC and the winners of the playoff between the fifth-ranked Hero I-League team and the one-ranked sixth. The fixtures for the competition are listed below.

“A vibrant cup competition is one of the missing parts of the Indian football landscape. With the Hero Super Cup, we are trying to bridge that gap and this season’s Super Cup gains all the importance as the winners will have the chance to compete in the AFC Cup next season,” said AIFF Secretary General Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran.

“Hero Super Cup is one of the important links between the Hero ISL and the Hero I-League. The Super Cup will serve as a platform where all the clubs from the top two leagues in the country can come together as one family and compete against each other. My best wishes to all of them,” he said.

He further expressed his excitement at the fact that Kerala will play host to the Hero Super Cup.

“Kerala, of course, is a great place to restart the Super Cup. The love and passion for the game here in Kerala will take it a long way. We are immensely thankful to the Kerala Football Association and the local government for its proactive cooperation and for making sure this competition takes place in God’s own country,” said Dr. Prabhakaran.

Speaking at the press conference announcing the draw in Kozhikode, Kerala Football Association General Secretary Anilkumar Prabhakar said, “We are delighted to welcome the Super Cup to the land of football. We will do our best to make the experience a memorable one for all participating teams. I’d also like to thank the AIFF leadership for having faith in Kerala FA and confirming Kerala as the venue.”

Hero Super Cup Fixture

Hero Super Cup Qualifying playoff Fixture

April 3: Hero I-League 9 vs Hero I-League 10, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

Qualifiers

April 5: Q1, Hero I-League 2 vs Winners of Qualifying playoff, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 5: Q2, Hero I-League 3 vs Hero I-League 8, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 6: Q3, Hero I-League 4 vs Hero I-League 7, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 6: Q4, Hero I-League 5 vs Hero I-League 6, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

Group A

April 8: Bengaluru FC vs Winners Q1, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 8: Kerala Blasters FC vs RoundGlass Punjab FC, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 12: Winners Q1 vs Kerala Blasters FC, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 12: RoundGlass Punjab vs Bengaluru FC, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 16: RoundGlass Punjab vs Winners Q1, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 16: Bengaluru FC vs Kerala Blasters FC, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

Group B

April 9: Hyderabad FC vs Winners Q3, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 9: Odisha FC vs East Bengal FC, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 13: Winners Q3 vs Odisha FC, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 13: East Bengal FC vs Hyderabad FC, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 17: East Bengal vs Winners Q3, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 17: Hyderabad FC vs Odisha FC, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

Group C

April 10: ATK Mohun Bagan vs Winners Q2, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 10: FC Goa vs Jamshedpur FC, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 14: Winners Q2 vs FC Goa, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 14: Jamshedpur FC vs ATK Mohun Bagan, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 18: Jamshedpur FC vs Winners Q2, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 18: ATK Mohun Bagan vs FC Goa, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

Group D

April 11: Mumbai City FC vs Winners Q4, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 11: Chennaiyin FC vs NorthEast United FC, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 15: Winners Q4 vs Chennaiyin FC, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 15: NorthEast FC vs Mumbai City FC, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 19: NorthEast United FC vs Winners Q4, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

April 19: Mumbai City FC vs Chennaiyin FC, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

SEMI-FINALS

April 21: Winners Group A vs Winners Group C, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode

April 22: Winners Group B vs Winners Group D, Payyanad Stadium, Manjeri

FINAL

April 25: Winners Semi-Final 1 vs Winners Semi-Final 2, EMS Corporation Stadium, Kozhikode.

Also Read: With a league double in mind, Mumbai City FC face red-hot Bengaluru FC in the first leg of semi-finals

Also Read: RFDL kicks off with over 50 Clubs from Hero ISL, I-League I&II & State FA

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