Never used the word cancel or terminate: BCCI on VIVO row

Written by Abhishek Patil

Though a review meeting over sponsorship deals including the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to take place, a Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) official has confirmed that it is unlikely that the board will sever ties with IPL title sponsor VIVO — a Chinese mobile-maker –despite the ongoing Indo-China clash on the border.

The entire country is in ‘Boycott China’ mood ever since the clash at Galwan Valley started. The news of 20 Indian soldiers attaining martyrdom while several others being injured even saw people burning Chinese goods and calling for all China-based products and services to be boycotted.

“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,” the official IPL Twitter handle had posted June 19 in the wake of the border situation. Though, two weeks have passed since then and yet no meeting has been done on the matter.

“I have called the IPL chairman (Brijesh Patel) and CEO (Rahul Johri) after I saw the tweet. But till date, I haven’t been intimated about any meeting. Possibly, they want to have a big meeting once the T20 World Cup is officially postponed,” one of the veteran GC members told PTI regarding the meeting.

Amid these sentiments of the public, the Indian government also decided to ban as many as 59 Chinese apps including TikTok and WeChat citing security concerns. But as far as the BCCI goes, it is unlikely that VIVO will terminate its contract, especially if the ‘exit clause’ favours the mobile brand.

“We still don’t know about fate of T20 World Cup, Asia Cup, so how can we just have a meeting? Yes, we need to discuss sponsorship but we never used the word cancel or terminate,” a senior BCCI official, who also sits in IPL GC meetings, told PTI.

When asked about the prospects of terminating VIVO’s contract as IPL’s title sponsor, the official said that the announcement was made only pertaining to the ‘reviewal of sponsorship’ and not its termination.

“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,” he explained.

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Abhishek Patil