The Oscar winning music composer AR Rahman accepted the Indian Olympic Association’s offer to become the Goodwill Ambassador for the Rio Olympics.
There was a storm when the IOA named Salman Khan as a Goodwill Ambassador late last month. The association since went on a damage control mode and appointed Beijing gold medalist and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra and legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar.
Rahman is a well respected across the country and bagged an Oscar for his music in ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’
The Olympics this year is going to be a very significant event for India as it will send its largest ever contingent-about 90 athletes to the Games in Rio de Janeiro beginning August 5.
“About 90 athletes have qualified for Olympics in Rio. India will send the largest ever contingent this year,” minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said.
Rijiju added that special assistance has been given to sporting talents for their training both in India and abroad.But tow days ago Rahman denied receiving the offer on Monday.
Asked at the trailer launch of film “Pele: Birth of a Legend” about being approached to become a Goodwill Ambassador, he said: “I heard it from the press. It was all over the place; it was on Google news spread. I didn’t get any email yet. Maybe my management knows, I don’t know.”
On Salman Khan’s appointed Rahman said, “I think he is a very popular face, why not?”
Salman’s appointment has created a controversy with some current and former sportspersons such as athlete Milkha Singh, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and cricketer Gautam Gambhir raising objections and stating that a sportsperson would be a better choice than an actor for the post.
Asked if a sportsperson would be better than an actor for the post, Rahman said: “Very true, good question, not to ask me, but the board.”
Rahman is also composing music for Sachin biopic.