Music composer-singer A.R. Rahman has denied that he has received any offer from the Indian Olympic Association to become the Goodwill Ambassador for the Rio Olympics but backed superstar Salman Khan for the post.
Asked at the trailer launch of film “Pele: Birth of a Legend” about being approached to become a goodwill ambassador, he said: “I heard it from the press. It was all over the place; it was on Google news spread. I didn’t get any email yet. Maybe my management knows, I don’t know.”
There have been reports that Rahman, along with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra were approached by the IOA to become the goodwill ambassador for the Olympics to be held in Rio de Janerio later this year.
About Salman Khan’s appointment, Rahman said: “I think he is a very popular face, why not?”
Salman’s appointment has created a controversy with some current and former sports persons such as athlete Milkha Singh, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and cricketer Gautam Gambhir raising objections and stating that a sportsperson would be a better choice than an actor for the post.
Asked if a sportsperson would be better than an actor for the post, Rahman said: “Very true, good question, not to ask me, but the board.”
Along with “Pele: Birth of a Legend”, Rahman has scored music for another sports-based film – the biopic on Sachin Tendulkar. Asked about his favourite sport, Rahman said: “This is a trick question, because I’m doing Sachin’s movie also. I think sports generally – soccer, baseball, football, basketball, cricket – all of them kind of is unifying people, in a way.
“That’s one thing that people can share; there’s nothing dividing them. Of course, countries maybe, but at least in the country it unifies people. So I like the whole sports thing. I’m probably going to go into sports, just because of the physical fitness and the excitement.”
After composing music for a soccer themed film, has he started enjoying football? “I’m starting to enjoy it. I was shooting in LA in a desert and I was practicing to kick a ball. I never grew up as a sportsperson; I was constantly in the studio, but things are changing now,” he said.
Rahman previously composed and performed the opening song of the London Olympics 2012.