The BCCI will not award contracts to any Chinese company in the future to build stadiums or other infrastructure, cricket board treasurer Arun Dhumal informed. Chinese communication company Vivo is the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League while Li-Ning is the apparel sponsor for the Indian Olympic Association, and both organisations refused to rule out the termination of these contracts anytime in the future.
Dhumal said the deal with Vivo will stay for now but the BCCI will not hesitate to terminate it in case the government asks them to do so.
“In the future, we will not give any contract to Chinese companies to build our (BCCI) infrastructure,” Dhumal told The Indian Express. This follows the flare-up on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Galwan valley that saw 20 Indian Armymen lose their lives fighting against the Chinese troops.
The BCCI treasurer said that Vivo’s IPL sponsorship needs to be seen in the right perspective. “We have to understand the difference between supporting Chinese companies and supporting the Chinese cause. We are taking money from a Chinese company, it’s not that we are giving money to a Chinese company.”
Vivo acquired the IPL title sponsorship for Rs 2,199 crore in 2018 in a five-year deal. Dhumal went on to explain, “42 per cent of the money goes to the Government of India as taxes. So in a way, we are helping the Indian cause. That money is being retained here and it is helping Indian cricket and part of the money that goes to the Government of India is helping the Indian cause.”
He added: “They (Chinese companies) sell their phones and collect money from Indian consumers, and if I don’t take that money, it will flow back to China. So, one needs to understand that.”
The BCCI hasn’t discussed the Vivo sponsorship issue as yet, but it will not hesitate to terminate the contract if there’s a government advice or order with regards to dissociating with Chinese companies as sponsors.
“There’s no two ways about it, in case the government decides to ban Chinese products and companies, we (BCCI) will be happy to follow that,” Dhumal said. He also said the BCCI would “keep public sentiment in mind” in the future when the contract cycle ends. And the BCCI treasurer fully supports the public sentiment. “As an Indian, I’m all for it to teach them (China) a lesson and hit them at places where it hurts them very badly. Be it economic or not buying their products…”
Meanwhile, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said they will not hesitate to cut ties with Li Ning if needed. However, he said a decision in this regard can be taken only by the executive board.
“We will see how the current scenario evolves. If we reach a point where it becomes a matter of the country’s pride, then I am confident the IOA executive board will choose country ahead of the sponsors,” Mehta said. “We have an existing contract with a Chinese firm for the Indian contingent’s kit. That deal is till the Tokyo Olympics. Right now, we are not reconsidering any deal but if the situation changes, we will take a call over what needs to be done.”
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