India drop Chinese kit sponsor ahead of Tokyo Olympics

1 week ago 14

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) connected Tuesday decided to driblet Chinese sportswear Li Ning arsenic its authoritative kit sponsor for the upcoming Olympics and decided that the country's athletes volition deterioration unbranded apparel alternatively during the Tokyo Games scheduled to beryllium held from July 23 to August 8.

The IOA was earlier criticised past week for unveiling the Olympic kit designed by Li Ning for the Tokyo Games.

Chinese companies person faced a backlash successful India since 20 Indian soldiers were killed successful a clash with Chinese forces successful Galwan Valley successful eastbound Ladakh.

The IOA astatine that clip decided to reappraisal its tie-up with Li Ning, which was owed to expire aft the Tokyo Games.

"We are alert of the emotions of our fans and we ... person decided that we volition retreat from our existing declaration with an apparel sponsor," IOA President Narinder Batra and Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said successful a statement.

"Our athletes, coaches and enactment unit volition deterioration unbranded apparel."

Li Ning's India representatives were not instantly disposable for comment.

Speaking successful Beijing, Chinese overseas ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said: "We anticipation India tin presumption regular practice betwixt countries objectively and fairly, and debar politicising the issue."

The IOA said it did not privation the contented of who made the uniforms to beryllium a distraction.

"We would similar our athletes to beryllium capable to bid and vie without having to reply questions astir the apparel brand," it added.

"As it is, they person each been challenged by the pandemic implicit the past twelvemonth and a 4th and we privation them to beryllium not distracted."

The IOA said it was guided by the sports ministry successful taking this decision.

"The ministry and everybody other were connected the aforesaid leafage connected this issue," IOA main Batra, who besides heads the planetary hockey federation (FIH), told Reuters by telephone.

The IOA is racing to find a caller sponsor.

"The kits are ready, it was conscionable a substance of placing the logo connected them. We're looking for different sponsor but clip is precise limited," added Batra.