Tissot first entered its partnership with the Olympic Council of Asia in 1998 ©Getty Images

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has moved to sever its ties with long-term partner Tissot, blaming a "unilateral breach of the agreement" by the Swiss watch manufacturer.

Tissot exercised an option to extend its sponsorship of the Asian Games earlier this year, meaning it was due to continue serving as the official timekeeper for the OCA's flagship multi-sport event through to Doha 2030.

However, the chair of the OCA Finance Committee Kevin Kuo-I Chen told the organisation's General Assembly at the Sokha Hotel & Residence Phnom Penh in Cambodia that it had agreed to end the agreement early.

"Due to the unilateral breach of the agreement by Tissot, in order to keep the best interests of Asian Games, OCA has decided to terminate the agreement," the Taiwanese official said.

"The process of termination is now undertaking."

insidethegames has contacted Tissot for comment.

OCA Finance Committee chair Kevin Kuo-I Chen said the decision was taken in the
OCA Finance Committee chair Kevin Kuo-I Chen said the decision was taken in the "best interests of the Asian Games", which are due to be held in Hangzhou next year ©Getty Images

The decision marks the end of a partnership that dates back to 1998.

The next Asian Games is due to take place in the Chinese city of Hangzhou from September 23 until October 8 2023, after it was postponed from this year due to COVID-19 concerns in China.

Tissot is one of sport's leading timing and scoring providers, also holding partnerships with the World Games, the International Basketball Federation and National Basketball Association in the United States, as well as the Tour de France and the International Cycling Union's World Championships.

In his report to the General Assembly, Chen also outlined the impact of a global rise in inflation on the OCA, declaring that this "led to the increase of cost of [the] OCA headquarters".

In response, it approved a proposal from the OCA management to cover this increased cost.