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BCCI, Chinese mobile maker Vivo suspend partnership for IPL 2020

NEW DELHI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Chinese mobile manufacturing giant Vivo Mobile India Pvt Ltd on Thursday (August 6, 2020) announced that they were ending their partnership for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 tournament. 

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Vivo Mobile India Pvt Ltd have decided to suspend their partnership for Indian Premier League in 2020,” the BCCI said in a media release. This came after the IPL Governing Council had on Sunday decided to retain the company as title sponsors. 

It is to be noted that the 13th edition of IPL is scheduled to take place from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE. 

The move to retain Vivo by the BCCI had faced intense backlash and there were even appeals on social media about boycotting the league. The BCCI possibly felt that it was in the national interest to suspend the sponsorship deal as fan sentiments are a priority for the board.

Vivo India has also been at the center of widespread criticism on social media after the BCCI said that it would be retaining all its sponsors for the 2020 edition of the tournament.

The BCCI had earlier said that there is ”no reason to panic.” However, the sources in the know of developments in the BCCI said that Vivo India was mulling to pull out as IPL title sponsor and negotiating terms with the BCCI. 

It may be noted that the Narendra Modi-led NDA government recently banned at least 59 mobile applications, mostly Chinese, citing national security concerns in the aftermath of the Galwan Valley clashes between the Indian and the Chinese troops. In view of the massive negativity towards the Chinese brands in India, Vivo India was contemplating walking away from the upcoming IPL season. 

The Indian Traders’ body CAIT had also opposed the decision of the BCCI to retain Chinese company Vivo as the title sponsor for the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be held in Dubai. In a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has demanded that the government should not give approval to BCCI for holding the IPL event.

CAIT, which is spearheading a national movement for a boycott of Chinese goods in India, requested the Home Minister to “take immediate cognizance of the issue and do not give any permission to BCCI for holding IPL in India or in Dubai or anywhere else”. The traders’ body has also sent a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar regarding this.

 Citing the cancellation of events, like the Olympics and Wimbledon due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAIT said the BCCI decision must be condemned. The BCCI`s move reflected its greed for money, it said.

 The CAIT said that the Centre had taken several steps to reduce the country`s dependence on China, which included a ban on 59 Chinese apps, rejecting the partnership of Chinese companies in railways and highway projects. Under such a scenario, BCCI`s decision smacked of utter disregard for the government policy, involving Chinese companies, they said.

 Vivo India had bagged the IPL title sponsorship rights in 2017 for Rs 2199 crore, committing to pay the league approximately Rs 440 crore every season, for a five-year deal.

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