Mumbai, April 26 : Celebrities like actress-politician Kirron Kher and filmmaker Sooraj Barjatya have defended the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) decision to appoint superstar Salman Khan as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics.
“It is a very good decision. I am very proud of Salman Khan. All people who are trying to say that only a sportsman should be appointed as an ambassador, I would like to differ from them,” Kirron said at the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Awards event here.
“No need to think that only a sportsman can represent the country. Any eminent personality who inspires us can be a brand ambassador. I welcome the decision.”
The “Kick” star was recently unveiled as the goodwill ambassador of the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics to be held later this year.
The move was questioned by several members of the Indian sports fraternity with 2012 London Olympics wrestling bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt making his displeasure public with a series of tweets barely an hour after the decision was announced.
Kirron also said: “I would request the sports fraternity to be more magnanimous. Be a good-hearted person and give Salman his due respect. We actors are also hard workers and give our best.”
Barjatya, who has delivered numerous hits like “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” with Salman, was also present at the event. He said: “It’s a matter of great happiness because there is no one more just and appreciative like him. He has always been a sports lover, he plays good cricket, football and is a good cyclist. I know him closely so, I’m very happy for him.”
Actress Katrina Kaif, who was romantically linked to Salman at one point of time, said: “A controversy with Salman, is it a new thing?”