BCCI retains Chinese sponsors for IPL despite political tensions between two countries

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Aug 03, 2020, 03:13 PM(IST)

IPL Trophy. Photograph:( PTI )

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday retained all the sponsors of the Indian Premier League (IPL) including the Chinese brands despite the recent political tensions between the two countries.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday retained all the sponsors of the Indian Premier League (IPL) including the Chinese brands. Following the IPL Governing Council meeting which decided on certain important factors including the logistics and match timings, the board decided not to sever ties with major sponsors including Chinese companies despite the recent political tensions between the two countries.

Chinese sponsorship in the IPL became talk of the country in the wake of clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh in June. While BCCI did tweet that it will meet to review IPL’s various sponsorship deals but the meeting never took place before the IPL GC met on Sunday. 

“Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave jawans, the IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL’s various sponsorship deals,” IPL had tweeted on June 19. 

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One of the main reasons behind retaining Chinese sponsors in IPL 2020 is the difficulty to find new sponsors with similar financial proposals during these tough times. 

"All I can say is that all our sponsors are with us. Hopefully, you can read between the lines," a Governing Council member was quoted as saying by PTI.

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Vivo – the principle sponsor of IPL – had signed a five-year deal in 2017 with the BCCI to the tune of Rs 2,199 crores. BCCI’s decision comes amid calls of ‘Boycott Chinese Products’ from all over the country after Galwan Valley clash where 20 Indian soldiers were martyred.

"We said we will review sponsorship. Review means that we need to check all the modalities of the contract. If the 'Exit Clause' favours VIVO more, why should we terminate a Rs 440 crore per year contract. We will only terminate if 'Exit Clause' favours us," a Board official had told PTI.

While Indian government has already banned 59 Chinese applications including some of the top social media platforms, to counter threat posed by these applications to country’s “sovereignty and security”, the BCCI decided to oblige to the current contract.

Other key decisions taken in the IPL GC meeting on Sunday were the match timings with evening games now set to start from 7:30 PM IST. The squads have also been restricted to 24-per-franchise with COVID-19 substitutions a llowed.The matches will be played at three venues in the UAE - Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

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