Roger Federer clears his stand on Indian cricket jersey controversy
Tennis legend Roger Federer has come out and issued a clarification regarding the unintended controversy he created when he posed with the Indian cricket team jersey prior to the Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan last week.
An innocuous Facebook post from the Swiss ace lending his support to Team India faced considerable objections, mainly from his Pakistani followers. India defeated Pakistan to start their World Cup campaign last week on a winning note, and Federer found himself caught in the crossfire between the highly-fraught neighbours.
Federer had captioned the Facebook photo, “Dressing up for a Gentleman’s game today. #BleedBlue.” In the unexpected furore that followed, a Pakistani fan wrote, “I deleted over a hundred Roger posts from my Facebook wall as well as the photo collection I had painstakingly put together. I also donated my RF cap and my collection of books about you.
“I will always respect you, love your game and wish you success. I just won’t be along with you for the ride,” the fan continued.
Everybody knows I support South Africa: Federer
In the UAE for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Federer clarified his stand on the whole episode.
“I didn’t actually meet the Indian team. In Brisbane I saw [Virat] Kohli maybe. I follow a little bit, but it really depends where you are. When I’m in America definitely not, and then when I’m in Europe definitely not, and then when I’m in Australia, a little bit here, sometimes. So it depends where I am in the world and which sport I follow. I got the shirt while I was in India [during the IPTL in New Delhi in December].”
“It wasn’t the idea [to upset Pakistani fans]. It was more of a Nike thing to be quite honest. It was a Nike campaign they had because I met some of the Indian players and I had just spent some time in India so they presented the shirt to me,
“I support South Africa, and everybody knows that. The idea wasn’t to spark any fire there. So I’m sorry that it did.”
Federer’s allegiance to the Proteas cricket team, possibly owing to his mother being South African, looks to be set in stone after this.