Calls are being voiced today for the resignation of the head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter. Whilst some have used the fact that the language he comments in is not his first language, it seems the excuses for what many class as racism will no longer wash.
Blatter is no stranger to controversy and neither is FIFA. He has now sparked off a "racism" row. His latest "gaffe" has lead to leading personalities in football, to call for his resignation.
In the UK football heavy weights such as Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, and UK Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, have joined in the calls for Blatter to resign. Gordon Taylor said on BBC radio, "When you see the corruption they've had at FIFA, the comments he made about homosexuals not going to Qatar, the way he talked about women's football, the style of the arrangements for the World Cup, the fact he won't have technology. I think it's really time to move over for Michel Platini. It is embarrassing – if one person should get it about racism it is the head of FIFA, which has 200 countries in the world, is so diverse with different cultures, creeds and colours.'
Yes you would certainly think so. For those who are left wondering what all the fuss is about, read on.
Sepp Blatter was asked directly by a CNN reporter if racism existed on the pitch. Mr Blatter replied it did not saying, such incidents should simply be settled by a handshake at the end of the match. Maybe they should on Fantasy Island. He said "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, 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. On the field of play sometimes you say something that is not very correct, but then at the end of the game you have the next game where you can behave better.'
It would seem then that Sepp Blatter does not understand what racism or being a racist is all about. He has been under attack today on twitter and the like and even Labour leader Ed Miliband has joined in the criticism of Sepp. On Twitter Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand contacted Blatter's Twitter account directly, writing: '@SeppBlatter your comments on racism are so condescending its almost laughable. If fans shout racist chants but shake our hands is that ok?'
Perhaps Sepp will understand what he means but it seems doubtful. He may continue to claim that he has been misunderstood but many people feel they have understood his words perfectly well. The calls for his resignation continue to escalate.
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