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After Yogeshwar Dutt, now Milkha Singh upset over Salman's appointment as goodwill ambassador

India TV News Desk 24 Apr 2016, 14:38:04 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: After wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, now legendary sprinter Milkha Singh is upset with the appointment of Salman Khan as the goodwill ambassador of India's Olympic contingent.

The 81 year old sprinter said it would have been better to pick a sportsperson in his place.

The 'Flying Sikh' also demanded that the unprecedented appointment in the run-up to the quadrennial extravaganza should be "revised".

But he made it clear that he had nothing personal against Salman.

"I am of the view that our sportspersons; be those from shooting, athletics, volleyball or other sports, they are the real ambassadors of India who would represent the country in the Olympics. Still, if we had to pick an ambassador, it could have been from the sporting arena," the 85-year-old legend told PTI.

Also Read: Olympic not a place for film promotion: Yogeshwar Dutt on Salman's appointment as ambassador

"India has produced so many sportspersons who have given their sweat and blood for the country like PT Usha, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Ajit Pal and so many others. One of these could have been made a goodwill ambassador. What was the need to import a person from Bollywood?" he asked.

Milkha, who won gold in 1958 and 1962 Asian Games, said the fact that no Indian sportsperson had been picked up as ambassador saddened him.

"I want to make it clear that I am not against Salman Khan, but the decision of the IOA is wrong and the Government should intervene in the matter. This is for the first time I am seeing a Bollywood hero being made goodwill ambassador for Olympics. I want to ask has Bollywood ever made any sportsperson an ambassador for any of their mega event?" he said.

"I want that the decision to name Salman Khan as ambassador should be revised," he said.
Notably, the announcement regarding Salman was made in Delhi yesterday in the presence of star athletes such as boxer MC Mary Kom, hockey captain Sardar Singh and shooter Apurvi Chandela, among others.
All of them had backed the appointment.

Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has questioned the appointment of actor Salman Khan as the brand ambassador of India’s Olympic contingent.

The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, who has already qualified for the Rio Olympics in the 65 kg category, took to twitter to express his angst over Indian Olympic Association's move.

Everybody has the right to promote movies in India, but Olympics is not a place to promote films," Yogeshwar tweeted in Hindi. "Can anyone tell me what is the role of goodwill ambassador? Why are you fooling the public?" he added.

The 33-year-old felt a sportsperson would have been more apt for the position. "Sportspersons like PT Usha and Milkha Singh strived hard for the nation during difficult times. But what has this ambassador done in sports. What will happen by the appointment of an ambassador? If you had to do this drama, then why not appoint a sportsperson?" he asked.