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Chinese $330 million sponsorship of Indian T20 League under threat after border clash

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Chinese sponsorship of India's biggest sporting event was under threat Friday after a border clash between the two countries sparked calls in India for a boycott of Chinese products and companies.

The Indian T20 League cricket tournament said its chiefs would meet next week to review sponsorship deals.

Chinese mobile phone maker VIVO is the Indian T20 League's top sponsor, having paid $330 million for a deal between 2018-2022.

Growing calls have been made for action against Chinese firms after a clash between Indian and Chinese forces on their Himalayan border on Monday in which 20 Indian troops were killed. The Chinese army also suffered casualties.

"Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave (soldiers), the Indian T20 League Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review Indian T20 League's various sponsorship deal," said a statement on the Indian T20 League's official Twitter account.

The league has not gone ahead this year because of the global pandemic, but cricket chiefs still hope it can be played.

"Ban all Chinese products," Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh wrote on Twitter reflecting the growing anti-China sentiment in the country.

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The Indian Olympic Association said it was also ready to reconsider its deal with Chinese kit makers Li Ning.

"Our tie-up with them is until the Tokyo Olympics. We will take a decision in the executive board meeting whenever that takes place after the lockdown," IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta told AFP.

"We are with the country. And we will never allow our soldiers' morale to be dampened," he said.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Noah Seelam

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