Whether it be the homophobic comments he made in December or his most recent thoughts on racism, the most surprising thing about Fifa’s Sepp Blatter is that he is still in a job.
The Professional Footballers’ Association’s Chief executive Gordon Taylor has since demanded the Fifa president resign, following the latest comments made by the 75-year-old where he said that football has no on-field problems with racism.
To what has been football’s biggest problem for decades, Blatter brushed over the problem saying that any racial abuse could be resolved with a handshake. And even more alarming, Blatter added; ‘the one affected should say that this is the game’.
The Swiss Fifa President instantly issued a response saying that his comments had been misunderstood. He later added; ‘I would like to make it very clear, I am committed to the fight against racism’.
Blatter went on to state the that many professional players face individual ‘battles’, racism being one of them.
Racism debate hits Twitter
But the Swiss’ comments saw an immediate reaction, with Rio Ferdinand tweeting; ‘Tell me I have just read Sepp Blatter’s comments on racism in football wrong….if not then I am astonished.’
More astonishing though was the fact that only one man has called for Blatter’s resignation in spite of the Fifa President’s countless blunders, including thoughts on homophobia only 11 months ago. The 72-year-old issued a public warning to gay football fans that were going to the 2022 World Cup should ‘refrain from sexual activity’, given homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
And there have been countless more gaffes from the Blatter.
Back in 2004, the Fifa president suggested that it would be more beneficial for the female game if the women players were to wear ‘tighter shorts’. The comments, which were badly received by female sports personalities as a whole, explicitly questioned the quality of football in the ladies circuit, indicating the players’ physique would be a more enjoyable watch than the game itself.
Then again last year, he spoke out on the stripping of John Terry’s captaincy after his affair with team mate Wayne Bridge’s wife. Blatter suggested that the then England captain would have been eulogised in Latin countries and would have not faced the media onslaught he did here.
The fact is though that the 72-year-old’s on-going howlers may continue to sell papers and add drama to our beautiful game, but for the good of football it is time for Blatter to step down. Otherwise, the footballing community is going to continue shooting piercing questions at the 72-year-old questioning how he is still president, making him more Swiss cheese than Fifa cheddar.
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