KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - The Indian cricket board (BCCI) on Wednesday ruled out losing the 2021 Champions Trophy and the 2023 World Cup over tax issues, saying they remain confident of getting government exemptions for both the events.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) suffered a revenue shortfall after the Indian government refused to exempt the 2016 World Twenty20 competition held in the country and there has not been any change in that stance, despite BCCI’s dogged persuasion since then.
Fearing a repeat loss, the ICC said in February it was exploring alternative venues for the Champions Trophy while the Indian board would continue negotiations.
BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said the board was optimistic of convincing the government.
“The matter is not closed, please understand,” Chaudhary told reporters on the sidelines of the quarterly ICC meetings in Kolkata.
“It is still under consideration. As you know, tax matters take long, even assessments take long, very long. Don’t worry.”
According to the ICC, such exemptions are a “standard practice for major sporting events around the world”. Chaudhary said BCCI officials, past and present, recognise that and have been relentlessly persuading it with the government.
He added that the ICC threat to relocate the Champions Trophy might help the board’s efforts in the end.
“Sometimes, such things help. Maybe tax authorities will think ‘we’d be responsible if these events are taken away from India’ and grant tax exemption,” Chaudhary said.
He also said the ICC management has decided to study the kind of concession the government in the United Kingdom offers to European soccer’s governing body UEFA for hosting events such as the Champions League final and “see if a parallel can be drawn”.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Kolkata; editing by Christian Radnedge