Chandigarh : Legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh on Sunday joined the bandwagon of sports personalities condemning the Indian Olympic Association’s decision to appoint Bollywood actor Salman Khan as the Goodwill Brand Ambassador of the Indian contingent in the Rio Games.
Downplaying the need of sending a Bollywood celebrity in Rio de Janeiro, Milkha insisted the athletes going to the Olympics are the biggest ambassadors of the country.
“It is a wrong decision taken by the IOA. I don’t’ see the need to send an ambassador whereas the athletes going to the Olympics are the ambassadors for our country. The IOA should not have done this. It is unfair to send a Bollywood celebrity as the brand ambassadors for sports. The government must intervene in this regard so that the IOA can reconsider the decision,” Milkha said in an exclusive interview to ANI.
“P.T Usha, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Ajit Pal are more capable to be ambassadors. There are many prominent sports personalities, who have contributed a lot for the country. So, they deserve to be the ambassador,” he added.
Wishing luck to the athletes ahead of the prestigious sports event, Milkha said that it would be a moment of pride for the country if they perform well in the Olympics.
“Since the time of independence India has not been able to grab a medal in athletics. So, I hope the IOA should instead focus on increasing the standard of games in India,” he added.
Meanwhile, Indian men’s hockey team skipper Sardara Singh backed the IOA for selecting Salman as the brand ambassador.
“I think it happened for the first time in the history that Salman Khan has been appointed as the brand ambassador for Olympics. He has a huge fan following. It is good for Indian athletes that he is motivating us.
According to my viewpoint, the IOA has taken a good step,” said Sardara.
The Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor, whose next film is based on the life of a wrestler, was chosen as the brand ambassador for the Rio Games yesterday. (ANI)