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Swiss Indoors forced to drop tobacco sponsor

One of world sport's last tobacco sponsorships is ending, at the Swiss Indoors tennis event in Roger Federer's hometown Basel.

Tournament organisers say the 2010 event in November is the last of a 17-year partnership with tobacco brand Davidoff.

Swiss Indoors said in a statement that the ATP World Tour had told the tournament in June that the existing sponsorship could not be extended because of worldwide laws restricting tobacco advertising on television.

The tournament was promoted in status last year to an ATP 500 event, giving the tour central control over television rights.

The 2009 Swiss Indoors was therefore broadcast in 150 countries and had a six-fold increase in ratings, although the sponsor's name was dropped during transmissions.

Health campaigners were never happy with a tobacco company sponsoring a sporting event and had repeatedly called on Federer to boycott the tournament, in vain.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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