New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association on Friday welcomed the government's nomination of Sachin Tendulkar for a Rajya Sabha seat, saying the IOA is happy that its long-standing demand to include sportspersons in the Upper House has been accepted.
"This is another feather in Sachin's cap as he has become the first sportsperson to be nominated to Rajya Sabha," IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said in a statement.
"IOA is happy that its long standing demand to have sportsperson nominated to Rajya Sabha has been accepted. We hope this will become a rule than exception," he added.
Stating that sportspersons play a great role in unifying the country by their stellar performances and deserve recognition by the state, Malhotra said, "this nomination is a step towards that."
Malhotra also applauded the election of former hockey captain Dilip Tirkey to Rajya Sabha.
"I hope that nomination and elections of these sporting icons will encourage the young sportspersons to give their best for the country, especially during the London Olympics."
The acting president pointed out that the IOA, on its part, has also taken a big step in giving due recognition to sportspersons by appointing three-time Olympian Ajitpal Singh as chef de mission for the upcoming London Games.
"This is the first time that a sportsperson will lead the Indian contingent in Olympics," said Malhotra.