David Beckham calls Sepp Blatter remarks 'appalling'

 

FIFA president Sepp Blatter's controversial comments that there is no racism in soccer are appalling, former England captain David Beckham said yesterday.

The 75-year-old Swiss has been condemned for his comments, where he also said that if such incidents did take place on the field, the players should settle their differences with a handshake at the end of the match.

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Beckham, speaking ahead of his team's Major League Soccer Cup final against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, joined an ever-growing list of high-profile names to criticise the head of the sport's world governing body.

"I think the comments were appalling," Beckham told a media conference on Thursday. "I think a lot of people have said that. I don't think the comments were very good for this game."

Beckham's England team mate Rio Ferdinand led the criticism of Blatter on social networking website Twitter with Britain's Sports Minister Hugh Robertson calling for the Swiss to resign from the role he has held since 1998.

"I have no power with who goes and who stays within FIFA and I don't wish to have that but there obviously is and has been racism throughout soccer and life over the last few years," Beckham said.

"It's still there and can't just be swept under the carpet and can't just be sorted out just by handshake."

Blatter released a statement later on Wednesday saying his comments had been misunderstood and pledged his commitment to stamping out racism in the sport over the next three-and-a-half years of his term.

"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, normally, at the end of the match, you apologise to your opponent if you had a confrontation during the match, you shake hands, and when the game is over, it is over

"Having said that, I want to stress again that I do not want to diminish the dimension of the problem of racism in society and in sport.

"I am committed to fighting this plague and kicking it out of football."

Blatter will be a guest of the Asian Football Confederation for their awards dinner in Malaysia on Wednesday, where he is due to hold a media conference.

Reuters

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links