Published On: Fri, Oct 9th, 2015

IPL losing its fizz with the sponsors

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In what could be a major blow to the Indian Premier League in 2016, softdrink giant Pepsi reportedly wants to get out of the IPL title sponsorship and has sent a notice to the BCCI. The company has mentioned that the decision was taken as the spot-fixing case had brought the game into “disrepute”.

According to a 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.

Pepsi’s period as the title sponsor has witnessed a turbulent time. In the 2013 season of the IPL, Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila and Sreesanth were arrested over charges of spot-fixing. This resulted in accusations that Gurunath Meiyappan, Chennai Super Kings team principle and Raj Kundra, co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, were involved in betting.
The BCCI banned the three cricketers for life and the Supreme Court appointed the Justice Mudgal committee to investigate the spot-fixing scandal. The Supreme Court appointed the Justice RM Lodha panel and the quantum of punishment was decided, with CSK and Rajasthan Royals being banned from the tournament for two years with Meiyappan and Kundra banned for life.

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