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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

‘Disrespectful’: BCCI faces backlash for retaining Chinese sponsors for IPL 2020

The BCCI had earlier said that it would reconsider its Chinese sponsorships for IPL 2020 in the wake of the Eastern Ladakh clash, which led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers on June 15.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: August 4, 2020 3:15:52 pm
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After the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council decided on Sunday that it would continue with sponsors linked to China for this year’s tournament, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come under heavy scrutiny from political leaders, organisations, and traders’ unions alike.

The BCCI had earlier said that it would reconsider the sponsorships in the wake of border tensions with China, which led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a clash in Eastern Ladakh on June 15.

However, after the announcement of the decision, National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah was among the first who took to Twitter on Sunday night and voiced his displeasure about the move.

“Chinese cellphone makers will continue as title sponsors of the IPL while people are told to boycott Chinese products. It’s no wonder China is thumbing its nose at us when we are so confused about how to handle Chinese money/investment/sponsorship/advertising,” he wrote on Twitter.

In another tweet, the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister sarcastically referred to the BCCI’s decision to retain the sponsorship of the Chinese mobile company VIVO as its title sponsor, which has a five-year deal with IPL worth over Rs 2,000 crore.

According to a report in The Print, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) went a step further and has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, urging them to withhold permission for the September event.

“The decision of the BCCI smacks of its lust for money in utter disregard of safety of the people and that too involving Chinese companies,” Praveen Khandelwal, the CAIT national general secretary, wrote in the letter.

The letter has requested Shah and Jaishankar to “take immediate cognisance of the issue and not give any permission to BCCI for holding IPL in India or in Dubai or anywhere else”.

“Under the unlock advisories, holding any event is still banned. But adopting an escape route by BCCI to hold IPL in Dubai is nothing but to dodge the government,” it added.

READ | IPL 2020: Desert Odyssey dates out

BCCI’s call was also slammed by the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an RSS affiliate, on Monday, as its national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said people should consider boycotting the cash-rich T20 league.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council have shown utter disrespect to the Indian soldiers killed by Chinese troops with its decision to hold the cricket league with its Chinese sponsors,” Mahajan said in a statement, according to PTI.

“At a time when the country is striving hard to make our economy free from Chinese dominance in the markets, the government is making all efforts to keep China out of our markets, this act of the IPL Governing Council is an aberration to the nation’s mood.”

Apart from VIVO as its title sponsor, IPL’s Chinese links include Paytm and investments from Alibaba, as umpire partner. They also include Dream 11, as online fantasy league partner, and Swiggy, as an associate sponsor — both of which have links to Chinese company Tencent.

The BCCI will issue the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with regards to bio-security measures, squad strength, replacement players, travel for families, etc. after receiving government clearance. Tentatively, the board has a plan to meet with the franchises on August 4.

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