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Salim Khan believes Salman Khan's popularity will help sports

The Bollywood star's appointment as Goodwill Ambassador for India's Olympic contingent has divided opinions across the country.

News 25 Apr 2016, 23:09 IST
Salman Khan
Sardar Singh, Salman Khan with MC Mary Kom, during a press conference to announce Salman as Indian contingent’s Goodwill Ambassador for Rio Olympics 2016,

Superstar Salman khan's father and screenwriter Salim Khan defended the appointment of his son as the goodwill ambassador of the national contingent for the Rio Olympics after several current and former sports icons criticised the move.

Salim said that Salman's popularity will help encourage sports among the youth.

The "Kick" star was on Saturday 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.

Also read: An open letter to Salman Khan from an Indian Olympian. 

Former athlete Milkha Singh has also lashed out at the decision of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

"Many sportsmen who fade away with time are revived via films. Sometimes we feel ashamed of the fact that we were unaware of such sportsmen in our country after watching the films made on them," Salim said during an interview on Times Now TV channel.

"Salman Khan is a popular person... When he goes to schools, colleges and talks to students and children about the sports, they will definitely listen..." he added.

Also read: Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt miffed over Salman Khan ambassador appointment

Salim said that the "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" actor "doesn't need such platforms or controversies to sell his films".

"Salman's films sell way before they are released. If his film is good, of course they will sell, if not then it will flop like some of his projects have in the past. Salman Khan's film doesn't work only by his name, they work because of the entire team's effort," he added.

Earlier, veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai came to the superstar's defence and said that instead of picking at the appointment one should appreciate the move which can inspire the youth of the country.

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