Narinder Batra. (AFP Photo)
NEW DELHI: Getting new private sponsors for Olympic sports won’t be possible in the next one year as long as the health and financial effects of coronavirus still exist, according to Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra.
Batra said that while most of existing sponsors have assured their commitment towards the IOA and various National Sports Federations (NSF) trying to get new sponsors in would be pushing those potential companies “into a corner.”
“Honestly, I have my doubts on whether I will be getting money from private business houses,” Batra said on the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) webinar ‘Sporting Events: Embracing the New Normal’
“I think it will be pushing them to a corner. Everyone knows what the situation is and what everyone is going through.
“In IOA we have private partners and it’s not just the government that supports us. Same for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) which I represent.
“I would say in both places about 60-70 per cent of the sponsors are all on board and committed. The rest, I think we understand their problem and they understand ours. This situation has developed which is neither their doing nor ours.
“Things could be sorted out with them but as far as money coming in from any new partners is concerned, I don’t see that happening, at least in India. Here if you go to these private companies, they treat you well, give you a cup of tea but you call them again and they won’t pick up. It’s only cricket which takes the big chunk of the money, after that comes football. The rest of us make do with whatever is left and we have learnt how to survive like that.”
Batra however said that there is nothing to worry about as the central government has assured support till the Tokyo Olympics and beyond.
“The government has assured us support till the Olympics and till the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2022 and so we are good with that,” he said.
“Till Olympics the government fund is not drying up so I am not worried on that part. So we are assured that we can undertake as many international tours as we want.”