Fifa president Sepp Blatter finally admits 'racism cannot be stopped with a handshake'

Blatter faced heavy criticism for his "unfortunate words" in an interview with CNN

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has had a rethink on his controversial view that racism can be settled with a handshake.

Blatter faced heavy criticism for his "unfortunate words" in an interview with CNN whilst the Football Association was investigating allegations John Terry and Luis Suarez had racially abused opponents.

In an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard a year later, Blatter has changed his mind.

“What you can do by a handshake is try and make peace,” he said. “You cannot eradicate racism by a handshake. To eradicate this devil is an educational problem. The problem is, if the school is not educating, if the family is not any longer educating, sport must educate. But sport cannot do everything.”

Discussing the FA's ongoing investigation into Chelsea's allegation that referee Mark Clattenburg used inappropriate language - understood to have been interpreted as racist towards the midfielder John Obi Mikel - Blatter did not think it was impossible that an official could racially abuse a player.

Another high profile racism case - the FA's investigation into Chelsea's allegation that Mark Clattenburg used inappropriate language, which he denies - is expected to be resolved later this week.

Blatter, who does not know the details of the allegations against Clattenburg and said he would not comment on this specific case, does not rule out the general idea that the relationship between players and ­officials could be strained to such an extent that a referee could racially abuse a player.

“Nothing is impossible. That’s the first thing I have to say. Discrimination and racism in the world is terrible and it is affecting the world of sport.”

Read the full interview in the Evening Standard

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