Skip to main content

Blatter: 'Racism controversy closed'

updated 9:57 AM EST, Wed November 23, 2011
A turbulent period for FIFA began in May 2010. Whilst most of the world's soccer fans were more concerned with Africa's first World Cup finals that June, FIFA was presented with official bid documents by Australia, England, Netherlands/Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Russia, Spain/Portugal and the United States for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. During the ceremony at its Swiss headquarters, FIFA announced dates for inspections of the bidding nations from July-September. A turbulent period for FIFA began in May 2010. Whilst most of the world's soccer fans were more concerned with Africa's first World Cup finals that June, FIFA was presented with official bid documents by Australia, England, Netherlands/Belgium, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Russia, Spain/Portugal and the United States for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. During the ceremony at its Swiss headquarters, FIFA announced dates for inspections of the bidding nations from July-September.
HIDE CAPTION
May 14, 2010
May 16, 2010
August 17, 2010
October 20, 2010
October 20, 2010
October 20, 2010
November 17, 2010
November 18, 2010
November 29, 2010
November 30, 2010
December 2, 2010
March 18, 2011
May 10, 2011
May 27, 2011
May 29, 2011
May 29, 2011
June 1, 2011
July 23, 2011
October 6, 2011
October 21, 2011
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sepp Blatter has said he considers the recent racism controversy closed
  • FIFA president suggested last week on-field racism could be settled with a handshake
  • Blatter says he felt hurt by the widespread criticism he received

(CNN) -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter claimed on Wednesday he has apologized enough for remarks he made last week regarding on-field racism in football, with the Swiss saying he now considers the matter "closed."

The head of world soccer's governing body was heavily criticized for comments he made in an interview with CNN, where he suggested racism between players on the pitch could be settled with a handshake.

Blatter, speaking at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) headquarters in Malaysia, reaffirmed his stance against discrimination, saying he was hurt by the accusations which were leveled against him.

"I can only say this item for me is closed," the 75-year-old told a press conference. "There is no tolerance (of) racism. I have been interpreted as such and I have made my apologies. I cannot say anything more.

There is no tolerance (of) racism. I have been interpreted as such and I have made my apologies, I cannot say anything more
Sepp Blatter

"There is no discrimination in my feelings, there is no racism, nothing at all. This matter for me is over. We go forward. There is zero tolerance (for) racism, zero tolerance (for) discrimination in all activities in the field of play and outside the field.

"[I was] very much hurt by these comments because it touched me in my conscience and my determination to go against racism."

It has been a turbulent 18 months for FIFA, with allegations of bribery and corruption surrounding the presidential election which saw Blatter voted in unopposed for a fourth term as the organization's chief in June.

Former AFC head Mohammad Bin Hammam was due to be one of Blatter's opponents in the ballot, but the Qatari has since received a lifetime ban from football for alleged corruption during his presidential campaign.

Bin Hammam is challenging his ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Blatter declined to comment on whether there was a way back into FIFA for the former executive committee member.

"We will wait for the outcome of the next step," said Blatter.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Blatter controversy
updated 1:54 PM EST, Thu November 17, 2011
Former England football defender Sol Campbell says Blatter's race comments are 'unacceptable' and make him "sick."
updated 9:07 AM EST, Fri November 18, 2011
FIFA President Sepp Blatter on past corruption scandals, reforms, Brazil's World Cup preparations and racism in football.
updated 12:28 PM EST, Wed November 16, 2011
FIFA President Sepp Blatter talks to CNN's Pedro Pinto about racism in football.
updated 8:57 AM EST, Thu November 17, 2011
Sepp Blatter's comments about racism in football are the latest in a long line of incidents that have embarrassed the FIFA president.
updated 8:56 AM EST, Thu November 17, 2011
FIFA president Sepp Blatter told CNN Wednesday that on-field racism was not a problem in football, remarks which caused a stir on the social-networking site Twitter.
updated 7:59 AM EST, Thu November 17, 2011
The chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association discusses calls for Sepp Blatter to step down from FIFA.
updated 5:52 PM EST, Wed November 16, 2011
Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore discusses eradicating racism in English football.
ADVERTISEMENT