India to review IPL finances- 20 Apr 2010 00:00:00
The Indian government has ordered an investigation into the financing of the Indian Premier League (IPL) following allegations of corruption in the cricket tournament.
The move follows the resignation of junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor amid controversy over his role in bidding for one of the IPL's new teams.
India's finance minister said ‘no wrong-doer would be spared’ in the probe into the league's funding.
However IPL chief executive Lalit Modi denies any allegations of funding irregularities, describing the claims as ‘absolutely baseless’.
Opposition lawmakers in parliament have alleged that the league has been used for money laundering and illegal betting.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told parliament that tax authorities had already begun an investigation.
He stated: ‘All aspects including sources of funding and routes through which the funds arrived would be looked into.’
Indian cricket's governing body also said it would meet to discuss the allegations against the tournament.
Tharoor resigned at the weekend after a row over allegations that a female friend, Dubai-based businesswoman Sunanda Pushkar, received a free stake in a new IPL franchise.
He denies any wrongdoing in the bid for the new Kochi cricket team franchise, to be based in his home state of Kerala.
Tharoor claimed he was just a mentor for the team and denied allegations that he was set to benefit financially.
He and Pushkar say the stake was awarded as ‘sweat equity’ in return for marketing and professional services to the new franchise - but Pushkar has now offered to surrender the stake.
Kochi was sold to Rendezvous Sports World Limited for $333m at auction. It and Pune are to join the IPL from 2011, taking the total number of teams to 10.