FIFA's Blatter Under Fire Over Racist Remarks


The head of world football told Pedro Pinto there is no on-field racism in football and that any player who has been abused should simply shake hands with his opponent at the end of the match and move on.

Manchester United Rio Ferdinand, viagra 40mg a former England captain, pills expressed his outrage on Twitter, for sale blasting Blatter’s comments as “so condescending it’s almost laughable.”

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The chief executive of England’s Professional Footballers’ Association, Gordon Taylor, told CNN that Blatter should resign.

Pedro Pinto: My crazy day with Sepp

“He should step down,” he said. “This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. We need football to set a good example, so this is inexcusable.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s remarks on racism in football are the latest controversial quotes to be attributed to the head of world soccer.

In 2004, Blatter — seen here with Brazil star Marta — angered female footballers with his suggestion for how the women’s game could be made more appealing. “They could, for example, have tighter shorts,” said the Swiss. “Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball.”

In 2010, when England captain John Terry, who is married, was reported to have slept with the partner of his former Chelsea teammate Wayne Bridge, Blatter responded: “If this had happened in, let’s say, Latin countries then I think he would have been applauded.”

In 2008 Blatter was ridiculed after defending the desire of Manchester United’s highly-paid star Cristiano Ronaldo to join Real Madrid. He said: “I think in football there’s too much modern slavery in transferring players or buying players here and there, and putting them somewhere.”

Blatter performed a U-turn on the use of goal-line technology and apologized to the English Football Association after an incorrect decision during the 2010 World Cup. Despite replays showing a shot from England’s Frank Lampard had clearly crossed the line in the last-16 clash with Germany, the goal was not awarded.

Blatter had earlier refused to take action when Thierry Henry’s blatant handball denied the Republic of Ireland a place at the 2010 World Cup finals. Even the France striker admitted the fairest solution was to replay the playoff match.

In December 2010, Blatter was heavily criticized for suggesting gay football fans should “refrain from sexual activity” if they wished to attend the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal. Blatter later apologized and said it had not been his intention to offend or discriminate.

Blatter clashed with fellow members of FIFA’s executive committee when he suggested the 2022 FIFA World Cup could be played in January to avoid high temperatures in Qatar. The 75-year-old said the move would “protect the players and also the spectators.” Qatar flatly rejected Blatter’s suggestion.

In December 2010 Blatter insisted that FIFA was “not corrupt … there are no rotten eggs” despite two of his executive committee members — Amos Adamu, pictured, and Reynald Temarii — being suspended for accepting bribes in the lead-up to the vote for awarding hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. He called England “bad losers” after losing out to Russia.

Blatter stood unopposed for re-election in July after his former ally Mohamed bin Hammam quit the race days before the ballot after being accused of offering cash for votes. The Qatari, a top FIFA official, has been banned from football.

Blatter faced a criminal investigation after winning the 2002 FIFA presidential election, being accused of financial mismanagement by 11 former members of the ruling body’s executive committee, including his 1998 election rival Lennart Johansson, left. However, prosecutors dropped the case due to a lack of evidence.

“We’re working to eradicate racism on the pitch, and eradicate any reference to the color of anybody’s skin. Racism is so divisive — it creates a venomous culture.”

Sepp Blatter under pressure to step down

The Swiss was re-elected unopposed as the head of football’s governing body in June after his main rival was suspended amid corruption allegations. The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was also dogged by bribery allegations.

Blatter backlash over racism remarks

Soon after Blatter gave his interview to CNN on Wednesday, his position appeared to be undermined when the English Football Association charged Liverpool’s Luis Suarez with racism toward a fellow player.

Blatter: ‘There is no racism’ on pitch

Suarez allegedly taunted Manchester United’s French defender Patrice Evra. Suarez, from Uruguay, denies the claims.

London’s Metropolitan Police are also investigating allegations of racism against Chelsea and England captain John Terry. He denies claims he racially abused the brother of Rio Ferdinand, Anton, during a Premier League match.

Blatter: No on-field racism in football

The UK sports minister Hugh Robertson echoed calls for Blatter to quit. “Racism is a criminal offense in this country and anybody who is caught will face criminal sanctions,” he told CNN.

“What Sepp Blatter has said, in this country, is just completely wrong as well as morally indefensible. This is the latest episode that calls into question whether this man should be the head of world football. For the sake of the game, he should go.

“We have been consistent in our calls for improved governance at FIFA and this underlines the need for that once more. We must never be complacent in our efforts to tackle racism. There is no place or excuse for it either on or off the pitch.”

The “Kick It Out” group, who campaign against racism in football, said Blatter’s comments were worryingly out of touch.

“Shaking hands to compensate for a racial slur is not what the game has signed up to, and trivializes the work of campaigns like Kick It Out.”

Blatter clarified his comments in a statement on FIFA’s website that carried a picture of him embracing Tokyo Sexwale, a prominent South African politician who has campaigned against racism.

What Sepp Blatter has said, in this country, is just completely wrong as well as morally indefensible

Hugh Robertson, UK sports minister

Ferdinand responded to the picture on his Twitter account, saying: “Fifa clear up the Blatter comments with a pic of him posing with a black man..I need the hand covering eyes symbol!!”

Blatter comments spark Twitter fury

Today, Blatter responded to Ferdinand directly on Twitter, writing: “The ‘black man’ as you call him has a name: Tokyo Sexwale. He has done tremendous work against racism and apartheid in Africa.

“We have done several joint activities to raise awareness on the struggle against racism in South Africa. FIFA has a long standing and proud record in the area of anti-discrimination which will continue.”

Later Ferdinand replied: “To say what you said about racism in football spoke volumes of your ignorance to the subject. If we want to stamp out racism in society a football pitch is a good place to start — loved by billions of people around the world (sic).”

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said racism was still prevalent in football, but the top tier in the English game was fighting hard to eradicate it.

He said: “Racism certainly still exists in football, albeit reduced, but there are still issues, of course there are, and we’re not complacent about that.

“But I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say it doesn’t exist because it does.”

“The English game had led and been at the forefront of reducing incidents of racist behavior — it’s totally unacceptable, everybody in the game in England understands it is totally unacceptable.

He (Blatter) should step down. We need football to set a good example, so this is inexcusable

Gordon Taylor, Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive

“We have that reputation, as far as I’m aware, that reputation is still intact but the game will deal with whatever is thrown against it. There is no place for it in football, let alone in England, and we will strive to eradicate it.”

Sports journalist and London Evening Standard columnist Mihir Bose said Blatter’s views demonstrated that he is out of touch with the modern game.

He told CNN “This won’t topple him. It will damage him further but you could argue he was damaged goods anyway.

“Blatter wants to be a showman, he wants to be in the public eye … but these comments are incredibly insensitive and crass.”

Bose said that although great strides have been made in the fight against racism in football, there is still much work to do.

“Much of the racist attitudes that saw bananas being thrown onto the field at black players has gone, but there is still a pervasive racism,” he added.

“White players feel racism has been conquered but there remains a feeling of discrimination in the game which is why black players have reacted with outrage at Blatter’s comments.

“They feel there is still not a level playing field — they feel all they have fought for over the years has been devalued.”

Can European soccer stamp out racism?

There have also been several instances of racism in European football this year.

Former Brazil player Roberto Carlos walked off the pitch during a game in Russia when a banana was thrown at him and Chelsea’s Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun was taunted during a game in Malaysia.


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