Scandal-hit IPL loses title sponsor Pepsi

New Delhi: India's cricket officials yesterday announced a new sponsor for the scandal-hit Indian Premier League (IPL) after Pepsi pulled out of the glitzy Twenty20 tournament. Chinese mobile company Vivo is set to take over as sponsor of the eight-team franchised competition, the powerful BCCI said after a meeting.

Vivo on board
"The IPL title sponsorship right has been assigned to M/S Vivo mobiles. Vivo is to give the bank guarantee in next ten days," a BCCI statement said, without giving details. The Board confirmed last week that it was in discussions with Pepsi to find a solution to some 'concerns' raised by the global drinks maker, without detailing the problems. Pepsi secured the sponsorship rights for five years from 2013 for nearly four billion rupees ($62 million).

Controversy aplenty
The company has not given reasons for withdrawing from the deal. But the IPL has been hit by scandals, including allegations of corruption and match-fixing, that critics say has sullied the sport's reputation in India. A Supreme Court-appointed panel in July suspended two teams from the IPL for two years over illegal betting, throwing the competition into turmoil.

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