IPL 2020: Vivo pulls out as title sponsor

Vivo pulled out following criticism on social media in the backdrop of the violent clashes between Indian and Chinese troops

  
FILE IMAGE. Image used for illustrative purpose. Members of the Deccan Chargers celebrate after being presented with the Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy by South Africa's President Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg May 24, 2009. The Chargers defeated the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the final.

FILE IMAGE. Image used for illustrative purpose. Members of the Deccan Chargers celebrate after being presented with the Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy by South Africa's President Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg May 24, 2009. The Chargers defeated the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the final.

REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Vivo has pulled out as the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League 2020 edition, reports in Indian media said.

The BCCI had earlier this week announced that all sponsors were being retained, but Vivo pulled out following criticism on social media in the backdrop of the violent clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh in June.

One nationalist group threatened to call a boycott of the IPL, picking up one a wave of anti-Chinese sentiment after a clash on the border between the neighbours' armies in which 20 Indian soldiers died.

The IPL said after the June 15 clash that it would review its sponsorship. Phone maker VIVO is the league's title sponsor having paid $330 million for a five-year deal up to 2022.

After repeatedly delaying the tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic, the IPL said it would start in the UAE on September 19 but sparked anger by making no mention of changing the sponsorship.

The Confederation of All India Traders, which claims 70 million small business members, said the Indian government should block the IPL tournament for showing "utter disregard" to public anger over the border deaths.

Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the cultural arm of the influential Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) threatened a boycott of the IPL unless the Chinese sponsor was dropped.

"We want to urge the IPL organisers to reconsider their stand on sponsorship by Chinese companies," said an SJM statement.

"Please remember the nation's pride and security above all," it added.

Chinese officials have also expressed concern at other measures taken by the government which they see as freezing Chinese enterprises out of the Indian market of 1.3 billion people.

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