The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended the Indian Premier League (IPL) sponsorship contract with Chinese cell phone firm Vivo on Thursday for the upcoming edition of the even amid the India-China border clash. Without giving any details, the BCCI sent out a one-line statement saying Vivo will not be associated with the IPL this year.
The press release by BCCI stated, “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Vivo Mobile India Pvt Ltd have decided to suspend their partnership for the Indian Premier League in 2020.” On its part, the company has stated that its association with the IPL was been paused.
Vivo had secured the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years from 2018 to 2022. The reported sum for this association is approximately Rs 440 crore per annum. It is known that the two parties are now working out a strategy under which Vivo will return come back for a fresh three-year with revised terms for the duration starting 2021. A top official at the BCCI, though, offered a divergent view.
The official said, “Here we are talking about diplomatic tensions and you expect that after November, when IPL ends and before the next IPL starts in April 2021, there would be no anti-China sentiment? Are we serious?”
The country’s anti-China sentiment peaked after the violent face-off in east Ladakh between the Indian and Chinese troops. India lost 20 soldiers in the clash while China acknowledged unspecified casualties as well. The stand-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) caused outrage across India with several calls for the boycott of Chinese companies and products.
Now, the BCCI is likely to float a tender for new sponsors of the IPL title as mandated by its constitution.
The money-spinning tournament will begin on September 19 in the UAE. The BCCI made the decision to stage IPL outside India due to spike in the COVID-19 cases in the country.