M A I N   N E W S

IPL faces more heat
After cheergirls, Ramadoss

New Delhi, April 29
After facing heat over cheergirls, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is now under the scanner of union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss who criticised the cricket body for allegedly promoting liquor through surrogate advertisements at their cricket matches.

Ramadoss, who is in the forefront of a campaign against alcohol abuse, said he would take up the matter with the information and broadcasting ministry.

“It is unfortunate that things like these are happening out there and we will be taking up the issue with the information and broadcasting ministry. But then yesterday the Supreme Court has not taken any cognisance as well,” Ramadoss said when asked by reporters what he thought about the IPL allegedly promoting surrogate advertising.

IPL CEO Sundara Raman, however, categorically said IPL does not promote liquor but promoted cricket through the tournament.

“IPL is promoting cricket. IPL is not promoting liquor through advertising. That is a franchisee name (The Royal Challengers). Yesterday there was a public interest litigation (PIL) in the court (Supreme Court) and it has been awarded in favour of the Bangalore franchisee, saying there is absolutely nothing to it,” Raman said.

This is the third controversy that has dogged the IPL since it kicked off earlier this month after politicians demanded a ban on US-style cheerleaders and after the slapping incident involving Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth.

The surrogate advertisement issue came up before the Apex court yesterday when liquor baron Vijay Mallya got relief. The court had rejected a petition seeking to restrain the cricket team owned by him for the IPL from playing the tournament under the banner of ‘The Royal Challengers’.

The petition filed by a Faridabad-based resident, Kishan Kumar Aggarwal, had alleged that under the garb of ‘The Royal Challengers Bangalore Team’, the United Breweries Group was seeking to promote its brands of liquor.

“Why do you look for liquor in cricket, you just see the cricket match,” the court said when the counsel for the petitioner said the UB group was promoting its products as evident from the ads in the stadia. — PTI



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