Zurich security director Mario Fehr can count on the support of the football and ice hockey clubs.
Leah HartmannEditor Politics
As an independent, Zurich government councilor Mario Fehr (64) cannot count on the support of a party in the election campaign. The former SPler gets support elsewhere for this – and from celebrities: in an advertisement, the Zurich football clubs FCZ and GC, the ice hockey clubs ZSC Lions and EHC Kloten and other sports clubs and organizations advertise for Fehr, who, as safety director, is also responsible for sports in the canton.
“We elect Mario Fehr,” says the ad that appeared in several newspapers last week. Underneath the logos of the clubs. On February 12, the canton of Zurich will elect a new cantonal and government council.
“Do something good” for the election campaign
The election campaign was financed by donations from the Pro Sport Zurich association, to which the clubs belong, and its members. He asked Fehr if “something good could be done for him for the election campaign,” says Daniel Meier (62), president of the association. He has “more than earned it with his great commitment to the sport over the past twelve years”. Fehr then wanted the ad.
Private individuals also contributed to the advertising costs, says Mario Fehr to Blick. FCZ President Ancillo Canepa (69), who sits on the Fehrs support committee, has contributed 1,000 francs, he says on request.
Financial support is common
It is unusual for sports clubs to take such an aggressive political stance. And the question arises as to how tricky it is when the sports minister has his election campaign co-financed by sports clubs. Finally, Fehr is also responsible for security in and around the stadiums. For example, the introduction of personalized tickets is currently under discussion. The clubs are opposed to it.
Fehr, himself a big fan of FCZ and London club Tottenham Hotspur, has the clubs on his side. He doesn’t get anything out of the system change and doesn’t think personalized tickets can be implemented. To the delight of the clubs, he is thus opposing the official position of the Conference of Cantonal Justice and Police Directors (KKJPD) and Sports Minister Viola Amherd (60).
GC speaks of a “good and productive working relationship” that one has with Fehr. The Grasshoppers state that the support is not to be understood as a political statement – “but as a simple wish to be able to continue the previous productive cooperation”.
“With no consideration connected”
FCZ President Canepa explains the support as follows: “Mario Fehr is the cantonal sports minister and has campaigned for the interests of FC Zurich over the years. Not least during the corona pandemic or with the financial aid for our new training center.» It is “hypocritical”, says Peter Zahner (62), CEO of the ZSC Lions, if you see a problem in the fact that the sport expresses itself politically. “Sport has been political for a long time!” he says. With the support of Fehr’s campaign, one does nothing other than, for example, when the homeowners’ association recommends candidates for election.
Fehr himself also sees no problem in sports support. It is not a large donation, he emphasizes. “I have been Minister of Sport for twelve years. I see this support in the election campaign as a reward for my work,” he says. He also makes it clear: “The financial support is not associated with any consideration.” When asked, Fehr does not want to say exactly how much of the sport flows into his campaign.
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