Less than a week after the Organizing Committee (OC) of the Commonwealth Games terminated the contract of the Australian firm Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM) for "non -performance" the latter has hit back.
In a statement, SMAM has accused the OC of "wrongfully, viciously, abruptly and publicly" terminating its services. It said that the OC took the step to deviate attention from the ongoing charges of corruption and financial irregularities that have been leveled against it.
OC had signed a contract with SMAM — for negotiating and procuring sponsorship and licensing contract — way back in 2007. SMAM had at the time promised to raise sponsorship worth Rs 470 crore (US $100 million). Of this it has so far managed to get Rs 125 crore.
"The OC has ... terminated SMAM's agreement in a manner that is not only counter to the agreement and inconsistent with the interests of staging successful Commonwealth Games in India, but also detrimental to the goodwill and reputation of the Commonwealth Games Movement," SMAM said in a statement.
The statement further said that OC's allegations and grounds for termination are imaginary and concocted and an attempt to deviate attention from the more serious issues and charges related to the upcoming games. "We also believe that the OC has served the alleged termination to SMAM as it does not intend to honour its financial commitments to SMAM," it added.
On OC's charges that SMAM's contract was terminated for non performance, the firm said:
"Owing to the diligent and concerted efforts by SMAM a record breaking sponsorship income totalling over Rs 400 crore (USD 85 million) has been generated in respect of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games so far. It has been the highest ever in the history of the Commonwealth Games surpassing the revenue achieved for the Melbourne 2006 Games. Further sponsorships are expected to materialise in the coming weeks."