Indian Olympic Association President Narendra Batra has asked for a government grant of Rs 200 crore for the National Sports Federation for their long term survival and sustenance in absence of corporate sponsorships in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
"Yes there is a problem and we have communicated to the government for its timely intervention. We want sports to survive and sustain. The National Sports Federation would require Rs 200 crore assistance for their sustenance. I don't think they are going to get any sponsors now as the business houses are in a big problem. I think they will be more interested in setting their own house in order," IOA president Narendra Batra told Republic TV in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
He said corporate sponsors will mostly pour money into lucrative sports like cricket, football, and golf and not other sports. "I do see a problem in one year or so where the government will have to do hand owning of Indian sports. Regarding the funds, this is a long term requirement not as of today. It's not true that no federation has money. Federations do have money to run their activities. But to maintain and sustain that this assistance is needed," Batra said.
The IOA chief has written a letter to the concerned Ministries as he felt there was no mention of any package of a grant from the Finance Minister in the past few days when she unveiled an economic package. When asked about the government's response to his demands, Batra said, "Yes they did acknowledge the letter but I am not going to reveal you what transpired but if you are asking whether there has been any categorical assurance; that is yet to come."