Kolkata, Dec 16 (IANS) Coal India Limited (CIL) here on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be the title sponsor of Hockey India League’s next three editions, subject to review at end of every year for continuance.

While the company’s Board cleared the decks for the project entailing Rs.14.73 crore as sponsorship payment for the 2016 edition, the sponsorship fee for 2017 and 2018 is pegged at Rs.14 crore and Rs.15 crore, respectively. CIL’s project expenditure includes the sponsorship fee of Rs. 13 crores as well as cash awards to Coal India best goal of the match in each of the matches and Coal India most valuable player of season and other expenses for the 2016 edition. Christened ‘Coal India-Hockey India League’, the six-franchise tournament would commence on January 18, culminating in a final on February 21.

A total of 34 matches are scheduled to be played across six cities. The tournament has the sanction of International Hockey Federation (FIH). CIL director, personnel and industrial relations R. Mohan Das signed the pact with Hockey India CEO Elena Norman and it was witnessed by Sports Authority of India (SAI) Manmeet Singh. CIL chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya said in a release: “Hockey always enjoyed popularity in the country and we were once at the pinnacle of this game globally. Basically our intent is to encourage sports, especially hockey, and stoke the interest for the cause of youth.

“Coal India in its corporate citizenry role is actively involved in encouraging various sporting activities and talent hunt at grass root level around our mining areas, district and state levels. We felt it is time that we step into bigger shoes at the national level. So, this partnership is an extension of our long standing commitment to sports in India. We thank Hockey India.”

 

HIL chairman Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “It is a proud moment for Hockey India League to have a public sector unit taking over the event as the title sponsor. The league has been of immense help for us in unearthing future talent, which we have seen in the recent performances of the Junior and senior teams. I am confident that this partnership is going to make Hockey India only bigger and bolder in the years to come.”

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