New Delhi: At a time when most of the sports persons are opposing Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's appointment as the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Rio Olympics, ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has backed the Bollywood actor.
Saina took to Twitter to throw her weight behind Salman.
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) April 27, 2016
The move to appoint Salman was questioned by several members of the Indian sports fraternity, including Milkha Singh, 2012 London Olympics wrestling bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt and cricketer Gautam Gambhir.
Milkha was of the opinion that if at all there was a need for a Goodwill Ambassador, great sportspersons like Sachin Tendulkar, P.T. Usha, Ajitpal Singh, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore should have been considered.
Meanwhile, celebrities like actress-politician Kirron Kher and filmmaker Sooraj Barjatya have defended the IOA's decision to appoint Salman as the face of India at 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."
"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," Kirron added.
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."
When filmmaker Karan Johar was asked about the controversy at the wrap-up party of his production "Baar Baar Dekho", he said: “I love Salman Khan. Whatever he does, he is the best for it.”
Sidharth Malhotra said: “I don’t know much about the controversy. As far as the Olympics are concerned, people who made the decision might have made the right decision. He is a man who is known for his fitness. The authorities who selected him, I am sure they thought of something.”
Actress Katrina Kaif, who was romantically linked to Salman at one point of time, said: “A controversy with Salman, is it a new thing?”