In what could be a blow for the Indian Premier League (IPL), beverage giant PepsiCo has sent a notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) expressing its desire to withdraw as the title sponsor of the tournament due to the spot-fixing controversy which has marred the league.
According to the report, PepsiCo has informed IPL’s chief operating officer Sundar Raman about its intention to withdraw from the title sponsorship for which it had paid Rs. 396 crore ($71.77 million) for the period 2013-2017.
The IPL COO is believed to have informed newly elected BCCI president Shashank Manohar about the latest development.
“Last season, Pepsi wanted to withdraw, especially in the aftermath of the spot-fixing case but the BCCI managed to convince it to stick on for another year. However, this time it was firm that it will not continue its association with the IPL, more so after the Lodha Committee recommended the suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. The conflict of interest issues also had an impact,” an IPL source told The Indian Express.
The BCCI will take up PepsiCo’s notice during its working committee meeting in Mumbai on October 18.
Sources said the BCCI is in talks with all those interested in bagging the rights and get it transferred from Pepsi.
“They have shown a willingness to move out of the deal from this season because of their own interests and not because of disrepute and stuff. So they may not continue as the main sponsor,” a senior BCCI source said.
“Because they have the deal with them so we are not bothering them. We have a bank guarantee with us and hence can confiscate it, but we are not doing it. Whosoever will get the rights, we will help get him that guarantee, get it transferred from Pepsi,” the source said.
Playing down the incident, Rajeev Shukla told the reporters that the BCCI is in constant touch with Pepsi and the talks are on.