Chandigarh: Jalandhar's famed sports industry is not enthused with the upcoming London Olympics 2012 as it is facing as much as 50 percent drop in orders of sports goods from the United Kingdom as clients have paused new purchases till conclusion of the major international event.

The industry attributes the "whopping" decline in orders size to "temporary" suspension of orders placed by UK-based schools, colleges and wholesalers till the completion of London Olympics.

The decline in orders from the UK - the most potential market in Europe - has come as another setback to India's one of the oldest sports goods making cluster as it had failed to bag big orders for exporting footballs during the ongoing Euro 2012 (UEFA European Football Championship), officials said.

"This year, the new orders for sports goods from UK have come down by 50 percent primarily because of most of schools, colleges and other institutions, which buy sports gear from us during first half of the year, have temporarily suspended their orders placement till London Olympics ends.

"Moreover, the preparation for holding the Olympics game has also some impact on order books," Sports Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Chairman Raghunath Rana said.

However, he said new order placements are expected to flow in from the month of August this year. Industry also rued the fact that it had not received even any order for the promotion purposes for London Olympics.

Jalandhar's sports goods manufacturers export sports gear for variety of sports like boxing, football, hockey, cricket, and basket ball to the UK with shipments to that country constituting 40 per cent of the city's Rs 400-crore annual sports goods exports, he said.

"There is hardly any order for sports goods this time from Europe as it is already facing tough time due to slowdown," said Jalandhar based Sham Sunder Gupta, who manufactures basket ball, volley ball and cricket gear.

The ongoing big-ticket football event Euro 2012 has also failed to bring any cheer for football makers in Jalandhar, who were expecting sizable orders in the wake of one of the world's most watched sporting events.

The manufacturers pointed out that their competitors in China and Pakistan won the bulk of orders for exporting footballs in Euro 2012 on the back of lower input costs.

"The order for supply of footballs did not come to Jalandhar during this Euro Cup which is a major global sporting event. Even the manufacturers here have not been able to secure any order for sending football for the promotional event," said Amit Sharma, who manufacturers football under 'Spartan' brand.

He said Jalandhar used to get orders for supplying footballs during events like World Cup or Euro Cup.


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