June 29, 2006
Thanks to S M Masood, managing director of the City Limouzines (India) Limited, the Indian women's hockey will get an annual sponsorship of Rs one crore per year upto 2010. This was disclosed by Masood in an exclusive interview to rediff.com on Wednesday night.
Though the Indian Women's Hockey Federation had invited the media to make this annoucement at a press conference on the eve of team's departure to The Netherlands the event ended on a chaotic note with the distribution of kits by the wife of the sponsor and thereafter everyone heading for food.
The team led by Joyti Sunita Kullu will play five practice matches with The Netherlands and New Zealand before taking part in the Champion's Trophy. M K Kaushik, former Olympian and coach for the women's hockey team will accompany the team.
Masood plans to spend a whopping Rs 1,000 crore in developing sports cities and sponsoring sports that are close to his heart. " I am not spending Rs 1,000 crore in next three or four years. It will be spent over a period of time. I will be talking to various governments to set up sports cities and develop sports infrastructure in various part's of the country," he said.
He plans to have his own team in football, cricket and hockey. "I do have a dream of having our own teams like Mohammedan Sporting, Dempo Goa etc. I love sports and that's why I am doing that," he said.
Masood, Mumbai based businessman, has a series of business ventures his annual turnover is Rs 30,000 to 40,000 crore per year.
The Indian Women's Hockey Federation has set up a committee to monitor the performance of the each player and recommend how much stipend to be given to the players. This will be directly credited to their accounts, Amrit Bose, secretary of the IWHF, said when asked how they planned to use funds for the benefit of the game and players.