FIFA president Sepp Blatter apologised yesterday for his "unfortunate comments" on racism in the game but rejected calls to resign as head of world football's governing body.
"It hurts and I am still hurting because I couldn't envisage such a reaction," Blatter told the BBC in an interview, admitting he had used "unfortunate words" which he "deeply regretted."
"When you have done something which was not totally correct, I can only say I am sorry for all those people affected by my declarations." But when asked about calls from a British minister and others that he should quit for his remarks suggesting that disputes on the pitch involving racist abuse should be resolved by a handshake, he refused.
"I cannot resign. Why should I?" he told the BBC. "When you are faced with a problem you have to face the problem. To leave would be totally unfair and not compatible with my fighting spirit, my character, my energy." Blatter insisted however that he had a "zero tolerance" attitude towards racism in the game, and that any players found guilty of it on the pitch should be thrown out of the game.
Fergie welcomes apology Sir Alex Ferguson has welcomed an apology from FIFA president Sepp Blatter over his controversial comments on racism. "I think Sepp Blatter has apologised and that's fine. I think that's appropriate."