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Hero MotoCorp pulls out of ISL & Indian football sponsorship

Published at :September 12, 2023 at 9:36 PM
Modified at :September 13, 2023 at 4:10 AM
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Rutvij Joshi

Hero MotoCorp had been associated with Indian football for around 10 years.

In a surprising move, Hero MotoCorp, one of India's leading two-wheeler manufacturers, has decided not to renew its sponsorship deal with Indian football, Khel Now has learnt.

Sources close to the development have revealed to Khel Now, “Hero MotoCorp has decided to withdraw their sponsorship deal as they are facing internal issues.”

Hero Motocorp was in the news recently due to an ongoing Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation. However, according to sources close to Hero, the decision of not continuing football sponsorship was taken as the contract with FSDL had come to an end in May 2023.

"It's essential to clarify that this investigation is unrelated to their (Hero Motocorp) decision to end the decade-long association with Indian Football. Instead, it revolves around Hero's choice not to renew their contract with FSDL, which had expired at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season,” said the source, who doesn’t wish to be named given the sensitive nature of the issue.

The sponsorship deal between Hero MotoCorp and Indian football had been in place for several years and was considered a significant source of funding for the sport for over 10 years. The company had been the title sponsor of the Indian Super League (ISL), the country's top football league, the I-League and all the other competitions run by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), including various grassroots and youth development programs.

Hero also sponsored the national teams as a title sponsor in the friendly games in India. The sudden exit of a major sponsor like Hero MotoCorp could significantly impact the financial health of football clubs, leagues and developmental programs.

The AIFF and the organizers of the ISL are now faced with the challenging task of finding a new title sponsor to fill the void left by Hero Motocorp. They will need to work swiftly to secure a replacement sponsor to ensure the continued growth and success of Indian football.

Despite multiple attempts to reach out to Hero MotoCorp and FSDL for their comments on this story, we have not received any replies.

Update: This story was last modified on September 12, 2023, at 10:00 PM IST to include the latest information.