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What led to scrapping of AGC-ACB contract?

What led to scrapping of AGC-ACB contract?

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Jul 15, 2019 - 15:13

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Alkozay Group of Companies (AGC) on Monday announced revoking its contract with the Afghanistaninfo-icon Cricket Board (ACB) due to illegal demands.

In 2015, the AGC inked a financial assistance and sponsorship contract with ACB. Under the deal, the company spent $1.3 million on cricket-elated affairs annually.

But the accord was scrapped over certain issues in 2019. Torylai Ibrahimi, marketing head of AGC, told Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview why the contract had been cancelled.

The ACB did not refer to the company for sponsorship but the firm’s leadership wished to financially support the Afghan cricket team.

“When Nasimullah Danish was ACB head and Shafiqullah Stanikzai its CEO, we told them to provide us a list of their needs and demands.”

He said after negotiations, a contract worth $1.3 million was signed with the ACB and the amount was paid annually as an assistance and sponsorship package.

It was decided the ACB would provide AGC infrastructure programmes and the company would give the board assistance after evaluating the proposals.

The contract covered the construction of cricket grounds, stands, chairs, academies, meeting expenditures of players on foreign trips and sponsorship of domestic events.

Player salaries and fees were not part of the contract, which mostly focused on infrastructure and rehabilitation, the official explained.

He alleged ACB failed to spend its annual development budget in 2015 and 2016. Funds from 2015 were carried forward to 2016 and subsequently to 2017, but major projects like the expansion of the Kabul cricket ground were not implemented.

AGC put aside $1million additional funds for the construction of the Kabul cricket ground but the project was not executed.

He said $3.2 million had been allocated in 2018 for the construction of Behsud and Paktia cricket grounds and preparations for the Worldinfo-icon Cup. But construction work on the two grounds has not been initiated yet.

Some months back, Ibrahimi revealed, they had received from ACB an e-mail asking AGC to provide $3million in cash to the board.

He called the demand a violation of the agreement existed between the two parties. Subsequently, AGC served a notice on ACB one month before revocation of the contract so that it could find another sponsor.

He said the contract was invalidated in February 2019 and the request for termination came from acting Executive Director Asadullah Khan.

Asked if they would sign a new contract with ACB, Alokozay replied: “Yes why not. Of ACB requests us, we will ink a contract with it, considering current conditions, marketing and principles of the 10 years deal,”

Danish, former ACB chairman, said they had no financial support in 2011 and their first contract was with the Etisalat telecom company.

“I left ACB but when I came back the board had no contract with any company. Then we signed a contract with the Alokozay Group of Companies” he recalled.

He said that contract with Alokozay Company was important as it was a major Afghan company.

ACB had sought $3 million from AGC, which did not entertain the request. As a consequence, the board suffered losses, he said, adding ACB had to find another sponsor.

The ACB leadership had caused the board $2.5 million losses, he regretted, saying: “I have been ACB leader for two stints. There were no sponsors for the board because finding them is no easy job.

“The Alokozay Group of Companies was a great sponsor as it managed our projects in a positive way,” Danish remarled.

He acknowledged AGC had played a great role in promoting cricket in the country. The company did many projects including installation of chairs at the Kabul Cricket Ground and deserved better relations, he believed.

The officials and organs that cancelled the contract with AGC should be asked why they took a step that caused the board losses, he said.

However, former ACB CEO Shafiqullah Stanikzai insisted it was not his personal decision but a consensus move by the organisation to offer AGC new suggestions.

“We had many meetings with AGC officials because the contract had to be reviewed every three years. We had to bring changes as charges rose.

“We had two international cups ahead and the value of Afghanistan cricket was on the increase. Thus there was need for an increase in sponsorship money,” he argued.

ACB recently signed a contract of $150,000 with an Indian company, Ammul, after cancelling the $1.3 million deal with AGC.

Stanikzai said they had been faced with a budget shortage and that was why they asked for changes, not for cancelling the contract.

“When the Alokozay Group of Companies cancelled the contract, I also wondered the firm, having supported cricket in Afghanistan at hard times, had taken that decision.”.

He said they had conveyed the company their interest in keeping intact the contract worth $1.3 million and plans for enhanced sponsorship;.

nh/mds/mud

 

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