The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in Pakistan has taken a firm stand against the illegal operations of surrogate companies involved in sponsoring and advertising within the country’s cricket industry. In a recent letter, the ministry has directed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to ensure the immediate discontinuation of all contracts and business dealings with such entities. This move comes in response to the growing concern over surrogate companies engaging in illegal activities, including sponsoring and advertising contracts with media outlets and sports enterprises.
Illegal Sponsorship and Advertising:
The ministry identified several Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises, including Multan Sultans, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, and various internet and mobile companies, as promoting the business of these surrogate companies through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The unauthorized display of logos and endorsements within Pakistan’s jurisdiction has raised significant alarms.
Companies Involved in Betting:
The companies identified by the ministry as engaging in betting activities include dafaNews, 1XBAT, MCW Sports, Wolf777News, BJ Sports, and MELBAT. These entities are operating within Pakistan under slightly amended titles, a practice termed as “surrogacy,” where firms act as surrogates for the mother enterprises.
Ministry’s Earlier Warning:
On September 25, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a statement advising all stakeholders, including PSL franchises, to refrain from conducting any business with surrogate companies and to terminate existing agreements with them. The ministry emphasized the need for a collective effort to curb the influence of these entities in the cricketing landscape.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s Involvement:
To enforce the crackdown on illegal betting activities, the ministry has requested the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block all websites and applications associated with the aforementioned surrogate companies. Additionally, the ministry has urged the PTA to take action against social media handles that display the logos or promote the activities of these surrogate companies.
Call to Action for Ministries and Organizations:
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has called upon all ministries, departments, and organizations to refrain from entering into any contracts or cooperation agreements with the identified surrogate companies. This includes print, electronic, and social media collaborations. The collective effort aims to isolate and eliminate the influence of these entities from the broader spectrum of sports and media partnerships in Pakistan.
The decisive action taken by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting underscores the government’s commitment to eradicating the influence of surrogate companies engaged in illegal activities within the cricket industry. By involving the PCB, PTA, and other stakeholders, Pakistan aims to protect the integrity of its sporting events and media landscape, sending a clear message that illegal practices will not be tolerated.
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