The ongoing tussle over the use of Sahara logo on the Indian hockey team’s T-shirts is likely to be ‘settled’ soon. Although the Calcutta High Court on Monday extended its earlier order dated February 11, instructing the ad-hoc committee to ensure that the Indian team used the Sahara logo, efforts have begun to ‘solve the issue’ amicably.
It is learnt that an Indian Olympic Association (IOA) official reportedly ‘approached’ the Kolkata-based Leisure Sports Management (LSM) for out-of-court ‘settlement’.
“We have no confrontation with Sahara, and we wish to work as per the agreement between LSM and the Indian Hockey Federation in the past,” said an ad-hoc committee official on condition of anonymity. “We are the interim body for hockey and have the contract with us… so what’s the problem in paying the money to us?” he said, adding, “There is no use signing a new contract when the old one already exists?”
LSM CMD S.S. Dasgupta when contacted said, “If such is the case then why did the ad-hoc committee keep us in the dark for the last nine months. We kept trying to give sponsorship money to the hockey team, but there was no one to accept it officially.
“No one gave us in writing that the ad-hoc committee was an interim body. They didn’t even inform us before removing the Sahara logo in the four-nation event at Chandigarh,” added Dasgupta.
The contract (approx Rs 20 crore) for a period of eight years was signed by LSM on behalf of the Sahara India in April 2003. Before the Chandigarh tournament, the Indian team used the logo in four major tournaments — Sultan Azlan Shah Malaysia, Test series against Argentina, Junior Asia Cup and four-nation tournament.