HYDERABAD: Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia feels strengthening club culture and providing attractive pay will encourage more people to take sports as a profession in the country.
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar had last week raised the issue of financial security of athletes, saying it is often a challenge when any person decides to focus on sports alone as their career.
Bhutia, agreeing to the batting maestro, said financial security is definitely a factor while choosing a career but also pointed out that things have improved with the advent of professional leagues in different sports disciplines.
This trend, along with the long-standing football culture, has provided sportspersons with more opportunities to earn a decent living.
“I guess the club structure in any sport has to be strong. Incentive for sportspersons when they do well at state and national levels has to be good. And corporates have to come up (in a bigger way) and sponsor”, Bhutia said.
He said that more than health insurance, it is good pay that will attract people to take up sports as a career.
Bhutia also emphasised on the importance of having health insurance for national-level athletes.
“It is really good if sportspersons are covered under health insurance. But more importantly, one should have good club structure, which offers attractive professional contracts to players”, the 41-year-old said.