‘Country Comes First’ – IOA planning to ban Chinese sponsors, products

Team Udayavani, Jun 18, 2020, 5:55 PM IST

The Indian Olympic Association is planning to ban its Chinese sponsors and products, with heightened tension between India and China. On June 15, 20 soldiers in the Galwan region of the LOC were killed.

According to a HT report, IOA secretary general Rajiv Mehta said that the country comes first. Meanwhile, treasurer Anandeshwar Pandey said, “It’s my personal opinion that the IOA should immediately snap its sponsorship with Li-Ning. It’s high time that we oppose China and its products. I respect the feelings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I believe that the IOA will take a call on this at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) soon… the country comes first and we should all stand united.”

“Li-Ning is a Chinese brand and we have an agreement till the Tokyo Olympics. If there is such a position, then we will have to think… then this issue will be discussed in the IOA General house. No decision is taken at an individual level. We have an agreement with them (till the Tokyo Olympics). They were also our kitting partners during the Rio Olympics. But we are with the country first,” said Mehta.

The IOA and Li-Ning signed a deal in May 2018 till the Tokyo Olympics. The Chinese company would sponsor training apparel, leisurewear and football for the Indian team, including officials for 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, 2018 Olympic Youth Games and Tokyo Olympics. The deal is worth around Rs 5-6 crore.

Regarding the upcoming Asian Beach Games (November 28-December 6 2020, at China) and 2022 Asian Games (China), Mehta said that its too early to comment on those two events currently, but the IOA stands with the country.

Meanwhile, Indian Weightlifting Federation secretary Sahdev Yadav said that all federations should start boycotting Chinese sports products.

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