Thursday, 17 November 2011

There is NEVER an excuse for racism...

(Any excuse for this picture)
Sepp Blatter has put his foot in it again.  Amidst the fact Luis Suarez has been charged with racially abusing Patrice Evra and the ongoing John Terry/Anton Ferdinand incident in an interview to CNN the president of FIFA has said the following:

"There is no racism [on the field], but maybe there is a word or gesture that is not correct.  The one affected by this should say this is a game and shake hands."

Then in a subsequent attempt to justify his comments he released a statement that included the following: 

"My comments have 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.

"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."

All of this comes across as if he is saying that in the heat of battle racist abuse is justified as long as afterwards the player either indicates remorse or "no hard feelings".  This view is absolutely ridiculous - there is NEVER an excuse for racism.  There is never an excuse for any kind of abuse, whether in sport or anywhere else in society.  Anybody found guilty of such acts should feel the full force of the law - not just a sporting body.  

Yes in sport there will always be heated exchanges, as there is so much on the line for each person/team so much so that you can argue that things which would usually be punishable in society may only be punishable by the sports governing body, however you must draw the line and in this instance the line is perfectly clear, racial abuse should not be tolerated.

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