Login | Register nowContact Us
Latest NewsLatest ReleasesSpecial FeaturesBollywood BabesHistory
Asian NewsEvents
Food NewsStartersMain MealsDessertsDrinksRestaurant Guides
Latest NewsAsian Business Rising StarsBusiness of Sport
FootballCricketGolfOlympic GamesTennisMotorSportLiverpool FCManchester UnitedBoxingUS SportsUEFA Euro 2012
Latest NewsDestinations Guide
MusicShowbizHollywood ReleasesFilm News
AsiaEurope InterviewsEntertainmentsLifeStyleSport
Home » Sport » Football

Blatter must go over racism comments, says minister

Britain's sports minister led calls for FIFA president Sepp Blatter to resign on Thursday after the global football supremo played down the extent of racism in the sport.

Hugh Robertson said Blatter's position as head of world football was no longer tenable after he said in a television interview that disputes on the pitch involving racist abuse should be resolved by a handshake.

"This is incredibly serious but it is part of a pattern of behaviour," sports minister Robertson told BBC radio.

Asked whether Blatter should resign, Robertson said: "Yes. I can't see there's anything terribly new in this. We've been saying this for some time."

The head of England's Professional Footballers Association, Gordon Taylor, also said Blatter should quit over the remarks.

"He is the leader of world football, he has to be a leader in anti-racism," Taylor told Sky News.

"Racism is divisive and for him to say the player on the receiving end should forget about it at the end of the game and shake hands... We are going backwards... It is not good enough, it's embarrassing.

"It is time for him to go."

Blatter's comments were greeted with incredulity by the British media, a long-time critic of the Swiss administrator's stewardship of FIFA.

The Sun tabloid led the condemnation with a front page story headlined "Blind as a Blatt", while the paper's editorial said it was time for the veteran Swiss official to step down.

"Blatter has long been a serious embarrassment to the game," the paper said. "Now we know he thinks racism is no big deal. What a toad he is."

Blatter's comments came as Liverpool's Uruguayan international Luis Suarez was charged by the English Football Association for allegedly racially abusing Manchester United's French international Patrice Evra.

England captain John Terry is also facing a police and FA investigation over allegations he hurled racist abuse at QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

The Daily Telegraph's football correspondent Henry Winter, meanwhile, said Blatter's position at the summit of the sport was untenable.

"Any politician who had uttered similarly offensive comments would have been sacked or resigned," Winter wrote. "Yet Tyrannosaurus Sepp carries on, an embarrassment to a wonderful sport, an affront to common decency."

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Blatter said the sport did not have a problem with racism.

"I would deny it. There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one," he said.

"But also the one who is affected by that, he should say that this is a game. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination."

Blatter later issued a statement clarifying his remarks.

"My comments have been misunderstood. What I wanted to express is that, as football players, during a match, you have 'battles' with your opponents, and sometimes things are done which are wrong," he said.

But former England captain Rio Ferdinand addressed Blatter directly via Twitter: "Your comments on racism are so condescending it's almost laughable. If fans shout racist chants but shake our hands is that ok?"

Blatter on Thursday reiterated FIFA's "proud record" of fighting discrimination in a post on Twitter.

Leave a Reply