'There is no racism' in football claims Fifa president Sepp Blatter

 

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has claimed any racist abuse between players on the pitch should be settled by a handshake.

The Football Association are currently dealing with two incidents where a player has been accused of racially abusing an opponent - Chelsea's John Terry and Liverpool's Luis Suarez, both of whom deny any wrongdoing, are still waiting for the outcome of FA investigations.

Blatter's insistence that there is no racism on the field of play is bound to prove controversial - as well as his suggested solution.

Asked if he thought there was racism on the pitch, the FIFA president 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."

Following the interview, Blatter took to Twitter in an attempt to clarify his comments. He said: "Racism and discrimination of any kind have no place in football. I have said this many times before, and I will say it again and again."

He added: "However, - and it is not an excuse - sometimes, in the heat of the moment, things are said and done on the field of play which are wrong. This does not mean that, in general, there is racism on the field of play. Football unites people more than it divides them."

Blatter also admitted there are problems over the preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with personal clashes between Brazil president Dilma Rousseff and Ricardo Teixeira, the head of Brazilian football.

Blatter added: "The World Cup in Brazil must be a great success. There are some problems on different levels.

"Governmental guarantees... have to pass by decree to the congress or to parliament and this has not yet been done.

"And then there's another problem, it's a personal problem obviously between the president of the country and the president of football."

PA

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