Football

Roger Federer wades into FIFA debate after French Open progress

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Right now tennis’ most successful-ever player Roger Federer will only really care about how he is performing at the French Open, nonetheless that he has found time to wade into the discussion which is dominating world sport at the moment.

A week of controversy at football’s governing body, Fifa, has seen several high-profile members arrested on suspicion of widespread corruption, though the president of the organisation, the much criticised Sepp Blatter, has clung-on to his Presidency in Friday’s elections, despite uproar surrounding his position.

Sports stars around the world have been giving their opinions on the scandal, and Federer was also asked for his thoughts at Roland Garros.

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The 33-year-old is known to be a big football fan and isn’t a stranger to watching his favoured club Basle in Switzerland, but he too is upset with the events that have taken place over the last few days.

"I am a football fan, a soccer fan, but I'm not a fan of (Fifa)," he said in Paris. "I love to watch soccer. You know, when you're a fan, what you want is for things to be done properly in the right way, and it doesn't seem to be the case.

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"But, you know, I think it's quite disappointing to see what's happening today. I think it's bad in terms of image. I want to simply be a soccer fan. Nothing else."

Pressure on Blatter 

Federer’s comments will only heap more pressure on his Swiss compatriot, Blatter, who has blamed a small minority for the alleged corruption – he is now set for another four years as President after his rival Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan withdrew from the election after the first stage of voting.

Many are now calling for a boycott of future Fifa events until the situation is sorted out, but life must continue for Federer in one of tennis’ biggest tournaments.

Comfortable victory 

The 17-time Grand Slam champion made his comments after breezing into the last 16 of the clay event which he has won just once, back in 2009, while time is running out in his career to add another trophy to his haul.

The former world no.1 eased into round four, the stage at which he fell 12 months ago, after brushing aside Damir Dzumhur in straight sets 6-4 6-3 6-2 – he is yet to drop a set at this year’s events but main rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic continue to go strong too.

As the matches progress, Federer will become more of an underdog to go all the way seeing as though he hasn’t won a Grand Slam since 2012 but only a brave man would completely rule him out of contention for an 18th Major title.

Elsewhere in Paris, the women’s reigning champion Maria Sharapova is still going strong despite being laid low with a cold – the Russian will be aiming for a third title at the French Open.

The action continues in the French capital as we enter the second week, and things will certainly start hotting up from here-on.

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Topics:
Football
Roger Federer
French Open
Tennis

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