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BCCI to donate Rs 10 crore to Indian Olympic Association

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will “donate” Rs 10 crore to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to support Indian athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games next month, it was decided at an emergent meeting of its apex council.

The support to the IOA has come as a bit of surprise, particularly considering some lingering doubts about the Olympic Games actually taking place due to Covid-19 situation around the world and its “impending” third wave. Certain people and organisations have called for the postponement/cancellation of the July-August Games, which were scheduled for last year but were postponed due to the pandemic.

Also, the IOA is not really poor by its own standards. As per the 2018-19 balance sheet, the IOA is worth Rs.39.12 crore. But it has still not uploaded the 2019-20 balance sheet while the 2010-21 accounts could be work in progress.

Besides, the IOA has four “national sponsors”, according to its website. They are MPL Sports Foundation, Inox Group, Nippon Paint, and Edelweiss. And, until recently the IOA had a kit supplier in Li-Ning, a Chinese company, with which it had signed a contract in 2018 that covered the Tokyo Olympics. Reportedly, the Li-Ning contract was worth between Rs 5 crore and Rs 6 crore.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), according to its 2018-19 balance sheet, is worth Rs.14,489.80 crore. Surprisingly, it has still not uploaded the balance sheets of 2017-18 and 2018-19, which should have been done by now, while it is understood that work on the 2019-20 accounts is on.

“The summer Olympics is scheduled to be held in Tokyo from 23 July to 8th August 2021. The BCCI has decided to support Indian athletes in every form and manner it can. In that spirit, based on the request received from the IOA/MYAS [Ministry of sports], the apex council of BCCI has decided to extend support to the IOA and has pledged a monetary gesture of Rs.10 crores,” the BCCI said in a late evening statement on Sunday.

The BCCI hoped the Indian athletes would “return with more medals than ever before”.

The apex council also decided to constitute a committee to suggest measures to give compensation to domestic cricketers for domestic season 2020 and 2021. The BCCI didn’t organise several men’s and women’s tournaments, largely due to the Covid-19 situation, in the two seasons despite huge demand to organise them.

The names of the committee members were not announced, though, as the BCCI office-bearers would decide that.

Regarding the compensation to domestic cricketers, the BCCI is looking for a “suitable compensatory mechanism” to arrive at.

“The apex council has decided to form a committee to look into the issue of compensation for Indian domestic cricketers for domestic season 2020 and 2021. The apex council has mandated the office-bearers of the BCCI to form the committee and find a suitable compensatory mechanism for domestic cricketers, at the earliest possible,” said the statement.

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