Racist insults should be forgotten, says Blatter
Updated: 2011-11-17 10:16
BERNE - Players who are racially insulted during matches should accept it as part of on-field provocation and shake hands with their opponent at the end, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Wednesday.
"Maybe one of the players has a word, a gesture, towards the other which is not the correct one," Blatter told CNN in an interview.
"But the one who is affected by that, he should say, it's a game, we are in a game, and at the end of the game we should shake hands," said Blatter who made similar comments in a separate interview with Al Jazeera.
"On the field of play, sometimes you say something which is not very correct," he added.
"At the end of the game, it is over and you have the next game where you can behave better."
Blatter's comments drew an angry reaction from Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand.
"I feel stupid for thinking that football was taking a leading role against racism," Ferdinand said on Twitter.
FIFA later issued a statement from Blatter saying his comments had been misunderstood.
"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," Blatter 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.
"Anyone who has played a football match, or a match in any sport, knows that this is the case.
"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."