IPL Governing Council to review Chinese sponsorship deals

Vivo to remain IPL title sponsor

The Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to discuss the tournament’s various sponsorship deals. It comes at a time when the calls for boycotting Chinese goods are getting louder, following the stand-off in the Galwan Valley a couple of days ago.

The tournament has its title sponsor in Vivo — a chinese mobile brand. Even though the BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal had told Sportstar on Thursday that the Board is not thinking about severing ties with Vivo, he was open to review the sponsorship policy for the next cycle.

READ: Vivo to remain IPL title sponsor for now

The Chinese mobile phone brand bagged the sponsorship rights in 2018 for five years for Rs 2,199 crore (Rs 440 crore annually). Earlier, Dhumal had made it clear that Vivo’s contract will not be terminated. The treasurer had also admitted that the money earned from the Chinese company is helping India’s cause and ‘is not the other way round’.

READ: Harbhajan Singh supports boycott of Chinese goods

However, on Friday, the IPL put out a tweet saying that the Governing Council will meet next week to discuss the future course of action, raising question marks over Vivo’s future as the title sponsor.

“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,” read a tweet through the IPL’s verified handle late on Friday night.

At least four of the BCCI’s major sponsors have substantial Chinese investors. VIVO, the mobile phone manufacturer who is the IPL’s title sponsor, is a Chinese company whereas online fantasy entity, Dream11 – an associate sponsor of BCCI and IPL – has Chinese investment.

Similarly, Byju’s, the e-learning platform, and Paytm – India’s team sponsors and BCCI’s title sponsors for cricket in India, respectively – are also funded by Chinese entities.

While Friday’s statement was unattributed to any of the IPL or BCCI officials, the move comes hours after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an all-party meeting about the standoff with China. BCCI secretary Jay Shah is the son of Home Minister Amit Shah while Dhumal’s sibling, Anurag Thakur, is the Minister of State for Finance.

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