Just like his brother and sidelined BCCI president N Srinivasan under whom the Indian cricket board became a financial super power, recently-elected Indian Olympic Association president N Ramachandran wants to make the Indian national sports body financially strong.
Speaking at the Sports Journalists Federation of India’s 37th national convention here, Ramachandran said: “IOA must strive to be financially independent. We have 38 sports federations and 29 state Olympic associations, so why can’t we do this? All we need is good networking and go hunting for sponsors and make IOA financially independent of the government sponsors. The money that comes in to the IOA can be given to national sports federations or tie them up with the sponsors. With the tie up, there will be greater degree of accountability unlike with the government funding.”
He added that he was looking to get a few sponsors on board to support the national federation and wanted to get this mission started before his term ends.
“We also have to commercialise IOA. The idea is to have enough sponsors for each national federation. Many companies are passionate about sports. We will go to the company and see how much they can sponsor and tie them up. That way, we are no longer dependent on the government funds like the USAOC, who do not take a single penny from the US government,” he added.
Some of the national federations have come under the scanner over the last few years for lack of transparency not maintaining accountability with regards to funds of the athletes. Ramachandran assured that under him, the IOA would seek to make the federations more transparent.