Other Sports

My aim is to make IOA financially independent: Ramachandran

IOA President N. Ramachandran with IOC President Thomas Bach. Photo: Special Arrangement

IOA President N. Ramachandran with IOC President Thomas Bach. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

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The President of the Indian Olympic Association, N. Ramachandran, is optimistic about India securing a good number of medals in the upcoming Commonwealth Games at Glasgow. In an exclusive interview, Ramachandran talks about strengthening the IOA, the Asian Games bid, sponsorship and the government’s support for the next Asian Games at Incheon.

Excerpts:



Five months have passed since you took charge as IOA President. What is your assessment and what needs to be done?

We need to do a lot more. My aim is to commercialise IOA so that it is financially independent, and the IOA is able to financially support the National Sports Federations and State Olympic Associations.



Your reaction on the aborted bid for the 2019 Asian Games? Was it not an avoidable exercise?

This is no longer an issue. So there is no need for me to comment on this.



There is a feeling of a divide among the office-bearers over the bid issue. If so, can you explain?

The IOA is a democratic institution.  Everybody is entitled to his own opinion. To state that the office- bearers are divided on this issue is incorrect.



As an advocate for giving State Olympic associations a clear-cut role, do you concede the national federations enjoy a bigger say?

The IOA needs both the State Olympic associations as well as the National Sports Federations (NSFs). To say one is more important than the other will not be right.  We need both of them.



Your first major challenge is ensuring a good show in the CWG at Glasgow. How optimistic are you about the number of medals?

In the last Commonwealth Games, which were held in Delhi, we were second in the medal tally. We also had the advantage as hosts. I am quite optimistic that our athletes will bring glory to our country.



Would you say that the government response to financing the teams was satisfactory or is there need for more financial aid?

 It is unfortunate that in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, we had the general elections in the country when the model code of conduct was being implemented. The government should definitely be more liberal in providing funds to the athletes to enable them bring more laurels to the country.



Will you manage a bigger outlay from your own resources and from the government for the Asian Games at Incheon?

We have requested the government to increase the funding and we are also looking at private sponsors.



Some disputes within the federations under the IOA continue to dent the image of the association. What is your response, especially to the administration of a sport like boxing?

There has been enough written in the media about the administration of boxing. I do not wish to add to this other than to state that the independence, autonomy and the constitution of the IOA will never be compromised on any issue.



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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 9:58:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/my-aim-is-to-make-ioa-financially-independent-ramachandran/article6226838.ece

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