Mumbai: Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has accepted IOA’s offer to become India’s goodwill ambassador at Rio Olympics 2016. Celebrated shooter Abhinav Bindra was last week roped in as goodwill ambassador of India’s Olympic contingent alongside Bollywood star Salman Khan. Tendulkar was approached for the role after the controversial actor’s appointment created an uproar.
Last week India’s first and only individual Olympic gold-medallist, Bindra said he received IOA’s invitation and immediately agreed for the role. IOA has approached Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman with a similar offer.
“We are in communication with Sachin Tendulkar and AR Rahman to become brand ambassadors of the Indian Olympic contingent,” Indian Olympic Association (IOA) vice president Tarlochan Singh had said last week. “We will rope in more people. Salman Khan will also remain,” he had said.
Salman’s appointment as goodwill ambassador had kicked up a storm last week when star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and sprint legend Milkha Singh questioned the move even though the IOA and some other athletes backed the decision.
Salman, who is playing the role of a wrestler in his upcoming film ‘Sultan’, was named goodwill ambassador in the presence of star woman boxer MC Mary Kom, hockey captain Sardar Singh, and shooter Apurvi Chandela among others.
Yogeshwar started the debate by tweeting that Salman has done nothing to merit such an appointment but the IOA stood firm on its decision and said that it would rope in more icons from cricket, music and other sports to motivate the Olympic contingent ahead of the Games in August.