New Delhi. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly is facing new questions related to the conflict of interest. Actually Sourav Ganguly is the co-owner of a football team (ATK Mohun Bagan) in the Indian Super League (ISL) along with RPSG Ventures Limited, which has created a new IPL team i.e. Lucknow franchise (IPL New). franchise) for Rs 7090 crore. The bidding process for two new teams of IPL took place in Dubai on Monday.
The Indian Express has written in its report that the official website of ATK Mohun Bagan, the football club of the Indian Super League, has listed Sourav Ganguly as a member of the Board of Directors, which is headed by Goenka. The website reads, ‘ATK Mohun Bagan is owned by Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt Ltd, which includes former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, businessman Harshvardhan Neotia, Sanjeev Goenka and Utsav Parekh.’
In a conversation with The Indian Express, a senior BCCI member said that this is clearly a case of conflict of interest. The member said, ‘Ganguly is the board chairman, and he should understand this. This is not the first time that they are grappling with such questions. Neither Ganguly nor Goenka responded to messages and phone calls sent by The Indian Express to respond to the conflict of interest issue.
During his interview with CNBC TV18 on Tuesday, in response to a question on conflict of interest due to his association with Sourav Ganguly, Goenka said, “I think he (Ganguly) is going to pull out of Mohun Bagan completely.” When asked when this would happen, he said that it will happen today. However, Goenka later said, ‘It is up to Sourav Ganguly when he takes the decision, sorry I have already disclosed it.’
However, there was no official announcement from the former captain of the Indian cricket team regarding his association with ATK Mohun Bagan till Tuesday night. Even if Sourav Ganguly ends his association with the football club, questions can still be raised about his participation as BCCI president in the auction process of IPL teams. Despite his affiliation with the Football Association that bids for the franchise.
Let us tell you that since 2019, Sourav Ganguly is the President of BCCI, and he is heard in all important decisions of the board. In the BCCI constitution, redrawn following the directions of the Supreme Court, the Justice RM Lodha committee has listed several possible associations that fall under the purview of conflict of interest.
According to the constitution, ‘When BCCI, a member, IPL or a franchisee enters into a contractual agreement with entities in which the interest of the person concerned or his relative, partner or close associate is involved, the matters relating thereto to the family Members, partners or close relatives may be in positions in which individuals may or may be seen to compromise their participation, and the performance of their roles.’
However, this is not the first time that Sourav Ganguly is facing questions related to conflict of interest. Last year, Sourav Ganguly, wearing a JSW Cement (Jindal Steel Works) T-shirt in an Instagram post, claimed that he was “working” as the company’s brand ambassador. JSW Sports is an offshoot of the business conglomerate JSW Group, which jointly owns the IPL team Delhi Capitals.
At the time, Sourav Ganguly had insisted that his new role as the brand ambassador of JSW Cement does not interfere with the discharge of his duties as BCCI president. Sourav Ganguly has also been the mentor of Delhi Capitals in the past.
Later, a formal complaint was lodged by former Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) member Sanjeev Gupta, but the matter is yet to be heard. Let us tell you that after the term of Justice DK Jain ends in June 2021, the BCCI has not even appointed a new Ombudsman and Ethics Officer.