Who would have believed if someone told them that Roger Federer would cause controversy in cricket? But it has happened!
The tennis ace was caught juggling fans from around the world, especially India and Pakistan, when photos of him holding a blue Team India jersey emerged on his Facebook page.
Upon learning about the furore that the picture caused, Federer immediately apologised. He also made it clear that the photo was more a part of a marketing gimmick than him expressing his favouritism towards India during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
“It was more of a Nike thing to be quite honest,” said the 17-time Grand Slam champion before the commencement of Dubai Open.
The picture in question has Roger Federer holding an Indian team jersey with the caption reading “Dressing up for a Gentleman’s game today. #BleedBlue”.
Meanwhile, Nike decided to upload the same picture on its Twitter page, too.
— Nike Cricket (@nikecricket) February 15, 2015
On any other day, this photo would appear comparatively harmless, but not during the World Cup.
The Pakistani fans are said to be dejected the most, who admire Roger’s skills on the tennis court. One supporter even went to the lengths of deleting all his pictures of Federer and is said to have taken an online poll in which 10 out of 12 Pakistanis felt betrayed.
The entire controversy even forced the 33-year-old to reveal the team he supports – South Africa.
“I support South Africa, and everybody knows that. The idea wasn’t to spark any fire.” Everyone, who has kept a track of Federer’s life, knows that his mother Lynette is from South Africa. Moreover, the Swiss ace has also supported the disadvantaged children in South Africa through the Roger Federer Foundation.
The current World No. 2 also said that he supports India “a little bit”.
When asked if he follows cricket, Federer said that depends on which part of the world he is in at that moment.