India not to bid for Asiad

IOA mulls tie up with corporates

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President N Ramachandran categorically denied claims of Secretary General Rajeev Mehta that India would be bidding for the 2019 Asian Games following the withdrawal of original hosts Vietnam stating that matter was not discussed at all.

“The IOA has not discussed it at all, so it would not be fair for me to discuss this,” IOA chief N Ramachandran said. A month ago Mehta had said in case India hosted the 2019 Asiad, the IOA will not exercise financial powers and will only organise the multi-sporting event, a remark which appeared to stem from the experience of 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scandal.

Ramachandran said his main mission during his tenure at the IOA is to make the association financially independent and free it from depending on the Centre for funding athletes. “We also have to commercialise the IOA. The idea is to have enough sponsors for each national federation. Many companies are passionate about sports. We will go to them  and see how much they can sponsor and tie them up.

That way we are no longer dependent on the Government funds like the USAOC who do not take a single penny from the US Government. The IOA must strive to be financially independent.”

Ramachandran said that corporate tie-ups will bring in greater accountability. “With the tie (with sponsors) there will be greater degree of accountability unlike with the Government funding. At the moment it is an idea and I hope I implement it by the time I leave after my term.

 Let me make it clear, I won’t be seeking another term and leave after the end of my first term,” he added. Ramachandran said the IOA is looking at introducing video technology to improve the performance of athletes and also provide another cutting edge to coaches. 

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