Footballers' association demands Blatter's resignation on racism comments
FIFA president Sepp Blatter's suggestions that there is no racism in football has come under heavy fire from all quarters with the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) demanding his resignation.
Blatter's comments come at a time when Football Association (FA) is in the middle of two separate incidents where players have reported racial abuse by their opponents. Luis Suarez has been charged by the FA of racially abusing Frenchman Patrice Evra while England captain John Terry is still under investigation for his alleged racial abuse against Anton Ferdinand.
When asked about racism in football, Blatter told CNN World Sport, "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, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination.
"I think the whole world is aware of the efforts we are making against racism and discrimination. And on the field of play sometimes you say something that is not very correct, but then at the end of the game, the game is over and you have the next game where you can behave better," said Blatter.
Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the PFA, said comments made by Blatter were embarrassing.
"I just feel it's the straw that broke the camel's back. 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," Taylor was quoted as saying by BBC.
"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," he said.
Blatter's statement in the wake of the ongoing investigation by the FA, has resulted in heavy criticism coming his way from various quarters.
Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand, whose brother Anton was allegedly racially abused by Terry, was completely outraged by the FIFA president's comments.
"Tell me I have just read Sepp Blatter's comments on racism in football wrong. If not, I am astonished," Ferdinand was quoted as saying by The Sun.
Ex-Liverpool striker Stan Collymore said: "Mr. Blatter, your comments about racism are ill thought out and condescending in the extreme. You should resign."