A week ago, India became the first country in the world to host a ‘Super Bowl’.
The ceremony, which will be held at the Golden Dome in New York in April, will be a chance for the world’s biggest sports audience to meet the country’s athletes and entertainers, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
But with the country in a state of shock and uncertainty, how will it perform at the ‘Super Bats’?
The event is being organised by the countrys ‘National Sports Federation’ (NSF), a body that promotes and administers the Indian national sport.
The organisers are seeking financial support from Indian taxpayers and the US Embassy in New Delhi, which is paying for a $1 million US hotel room for the ceremony.
“We have already agreed a number of dates, including a series of international events including the 2022 World Cup,” NSF spokesperson Ashok Mehta told The Hindu.
“So far, we have received Rs 12 crore from the Government of India.”
According to Mehtab, the total cost of the event is estimated at around Rs 20 crore, but the NSF is trying to secure the funds through an auction.
“The NSF has been working towards hosting a Super Bowl in the past and we have raised over $1 billion in funds for the event,” he added.
The NSFs ‘SuperBats’ are held on February 6 and 9, each featuring teams from different sports, with a combined total of 40 games.
They are organised annually at a cost of about $2 billion and draw in a crowd of up to 10 million people.
The US, the home of the National Basketball Association (NBA), was among the sponsors of the last Super Bowl held in India in 2004.
But the event has been marred by controversy in the last few years.
The Indian government has refused to host it in the wake of the 2010 riot at a Delhi football ground that left more than 30 people dead.
The government has also banned the event, and the venue has been criticised for its poor planning.
“It is a tragedy for the country and the people,” Singh said in an emotional speech after the riot.
The Indian government is yet to comment on the auction.
“I have been a part of this process, but I cannot confirm the date or venue,” Mehtac told The Hindustan Times.
“I am waiting for the invitation from the NSFs management and other stakeholders.”