The Indian Olympic Association dropped the Chinese apparel brand Li Ning as the sponsor of India’s team for Tokyo Olympics.
The decision was announced by the IOA president Narinder Batra on Tuesday.
The 190-member strong Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics will wear unbranded apparel.
In a joint statement, IOA president Narinder Batra and secretary general Rajeev Mehta said, “We are aware of the emotions of our fans and we in the IOA have decided that we will withdraw from our existing contract with an apparel sponsor. Our athletes, coaches and support staff, will wear unbranded apparel.”
Both the IOA office bearers refrained from naming Li Ning in the statement.
The statement further read, “We are thankful for guidance by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in making this decision. We would like our athletes to be able to train and compete without having to answer questions about the apparel brand. As it is, they have all been challenged by the pandemic over the past year and a quarter and we want them to be not distracted.”
India’s sporting and ceremonial kit was unveiled last Thursday in the presence of the Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
In the light of the clashes with Chinese army on the border, Mehta had said, “Our association (with Li Ning) is till the Tokyo Olympics but we will take up the issue in our general body meeting. For us, the country comes first.”
After the Chinese aggression at the Indian borders and the martyrdom of the Indian soldiers, there was a public-led call for boycott of the Chinese goods.