Title sponsor of the Indian Premier League, PepsiCo, has blamed the BCCI for bringing “disrepute” to the game, after expressing the intention of ending its association with the IPL on Friday, according to a report quoted by The Indian Express.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India had said, on Friday, it will address concerns raised by Pepsi with “amicable discussions” and “necessary solutions” but the beverage giant sent a notice saying the decision to withdraw was taken because “BCCI failed to act in a fair and transparent manner to prevent or take corrective measures in respect of such sporting frauds”.
According to the same report, Pepsi also said its association was to “gain positive publicity”, but BCCI breached its contract and “the fraudulent and illegal activities committed in the IPL adversely affected the image of the IPL as also the game of cricket...”
The controversy-ridden IPL hit a new low when the Supreme Court recommended suspending the franchises -- Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings -- for two years, following the Lodha Committee’s report into a betting and spot-fixing scandal.
Pepsi also hit out at former BCCI president and Chennai Super Kings owner N Srinivasan for “acting in conflict of interest as the regulator of the IPL and at the same time as having commercial interest in the IPL”, the Indian Express quoted.
PepsiCo paid around Rs.396 crore in 2012 for title sponsorship of the IPL for a five-year period of 2013 and 2017.
“BCCI and Pepsico have had a long-standing cordial relationship. Pepsico has raised certain concerns with the BCCI,” the BCCI statement said.
“BCCI has assured that steps will be taken to address the concerns and will work necessary solutions in the interests of the league as well as Pepsico.”
“As part of the process BCCI and Pepsico have been in amicable discussions and further update will be shared in due course,” it added.
A BCCI official, however, said Pepsi had been looking for a way out for some time and the issue was likely to be taken up at a working committee meeting in Mumbai on October 18.
“With the global financial crisis, they wanted out. Now that BCCI is going through a bit of an impasse, it’s the perfect opportunity for them to move out,” said the official.
(With inputs from IANS)