Plans to rename arena after Roger Federer facing strong opposition, admits politician
Politicians are opposing calls for Roger Federer to have an arena named after him in his home town in Switzerland.
The St Jakobshalle arena in Basel, where the Basel Open is held, is at the centre of a campaign to honour the 37-year-old.
Basel-based politician Martina Bernasconi backs the petition to change the venue’s name, but admits it faces strong opposition.
“Yes, many,” she answered, when asked by the Express if they had received objections to the plan.
“The main arguments have been that Switzerland and Basel only honour dead people.
“And that Federer is a brand and he wants money.”
However, she hopes that despite opposition the plans can get pushed through, claiming Federer is something of a special case.
“He is the most popular ambassador of Switzerland,” she added.
“Because he speaks the Basel dialect, people have a high identification with him.
“He was Born in Basel and lived 16 years in this town, visited the school and his first tennis club was Old Boys Basel.
“He married (wife Mirka) here and his parents live in Basel.
“All over the world, he is well known, so he is really popular, not only as a sportsman.”
More from Tennis365:
Carlos Alcaraz news: Toni Nadal believes the Spaniard is superior to other Next Gen players
He’s a cut above the rest.
Stan Wawrinka news: Three time Grand Slam champion out of the Geneva Open due to injury
Another injury has plagued the Swiss player.
Stefanos Tsitsipas news: World No 5 explains why tennis is the ‘most difficult’ sport
The smallest mistake can change everything in a match.
British star urges ATP to make a decision on Russia sanctions as crisis grows
Tennis players around the world are facing…
Novak Djokovic about to join a unique club as he closes in on another record
The win against Auger Aliassime took his career total to 999 wins.
Boris Becker news: German confident he’ll be out of British prison by Christmas
He wants to go to a prison in his homeland.
Casper Ruud credits strong first serve with helping him oust Denis Shapovalov
Casper Ruud reached his fifth ATP 1000 semi-final on Friday.
Ons Jabeur fights back from the brink to reach first Italian Open semi
Ons Jabeur has won ten in a row on clay.
Iga Swiatek’s streak goes on as she marches into last four in Rome
Swiatek claimed a 7-6(2), 6-0 victory against Bianca Andreescu to make it 26 in a row.
Italian Open: Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up another clash with Alexander Zverev
Stefanos Tsitsipas meets Alexander Zverev in the last four for the second week in a row.