BBC BLOGS - David Bond
« Previous | Main | Next »

No question of resigning for resilient Blatter

Post categories:

David Bond | 19:26 UK time, Friday, 18 November 2011

Sepp Blatter has survived countless crises during his 13 years as Fifa president.

Financial meltdown, court battles with major sponsors, the collapse of marketing partners ISL, World Cup vote controversies and now the corruption scandal involving members of his executive committee.

Throughout them all he has, somehow, managed to hold on and perhaps emerged even stronger inside world football.

Even at the height of the cash for votes affair involving his rival for the Fifa presidency Mohamed Bin Hammam, he never lost his swagger.

Maybe it is the cumulative effect of all this but none of the issues touched on above have - quite rightly - had quite the same impact on the public as his claims that racist incidents on the field of play could be settled with a handshake.

What made it worse was that his attempted clarifications - first on Twitter and then in a written statement and subsequent television interview - only seemed to reinforce that he genuinely believed what he had originally said.

Zurich

So, with no sign of the storm blowing itself out, Blatter really had no choice but to apologise when I interviewed him at Fifa House this morning.

Contrite and seemingly shocked at the offence his comments had caused, Blatter said sorry three times - once in a prepared statement and then twice more later on when I questioned him on the subject.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.


Leaving no room for any doubt, he made it clear this time that if one player racially abused another during a match there should be zero tolerance.

But why did Blatter take so long to realise his comments had caused offence and why did he say them in the first place?

He told me he hadn't been sufficiently clear with his choice of words and that it hadn't dawned on him for some time that his remarks had been interpreted in such a negative way.

Surely it would have been evident pretty quickly once his interviews on Wednesday with CNN and Al Jazeera had been broadcast? Are we really to believe that the president of Fifa is so out of touch that it takes two days for news to reach his office in Zurich?

Or did he think he could ride this storm out like all the others he has had to face. Keep your head down for a day, it's mainly the English media again. It will all go quiet soon and everything will go back to normal.

Maybe.

And what of his original claims? Can they simply be airbrushed from the record? Blatter is a very intelligent man. True, English is not his first language and he is more confident in Spanish and French when not speaking his German mother tongue, but he seemed so clear, so insistent that racism on the pitch was the same as foul language.

Does this mean a man with outmoded, racist views lurks beneath the public persona of a campaigner for footballing equality? A man who did put his presidency and reputation on the line to take the World Cup to South Africa and who was so emphatically defended today by Tokyo Sexwale, a South African politician who spent 13 years in jail on Robben Island.

Probably not. But I remain uncomfortable about the whole thing.

For, make no mistake, my interview - although organised some weeks ago - was part of a co-ordinated fightback.

I have already mentioned the Sexwale press conference, which was well timed, to say the least.

But interestingly, shortly after I arrived at Fifa House this morning, Blatter walked out of the main reception with a member of the ethics committee from Senegal. The pair walked past me and my team and the gentleman got into his car before Blatter walked back in and greeted us, making sure we knew exactly who he had just shown out.

Was this coincidence? Who knows? Perhaps it is a consequence of the collapse in trust in the Fifa president that I am left contemplating a darker motive in an innocent act of courtesy.

Then it must always be remembered that Blatter is a master politician who rarely does anything without considering its effect.

So is his apology today sufficient to douse the flames? Probably. But was he genuinely contrite?

Again he is a good actor and he knows how to put on a good show but I have rarely seen him like this. At times he seemed to be genuinely shaken by the whole thing.

Tellingly, at the end of the interview, he looked across to his PR advisers. There was relief in his eyes but the look also begged a question: "How did I do?"

The reality is that, sorry or not, Blatter would never have even considered resigning over this. And who was going to push him? His answer to me on that score, was a return to the old, strutting Blatter.

"I cannot," was his reply. For him the Fifa presidency is a mission, not a job.

As far as he is concerned he has been given a huge mandate by the Fifa congress to carry on and now clean up the organisation.

Politically, only when a large number of the 208 national associations which make up Fifa start lighting up the Zurich switchboard with outrage will he even consider shuffling off into retirement.

Away from the headlines on racism there were some other important comments from Blatter today.

He said he would not "put his hands into the fire" to prove his executive committee was clean. Only when a new fit and proper person test was in place could he be sure.

He revealed his plans to release the documents relating to the ISL case were currently being opposed by "other parties" who may hinder that publication. Despite that he insisted he was still determined to publish these documents next month.

And he acknowledged that, as president, he did have a responsibility for the image crisis Fifa is suffering, although he then went on to suggest the crisis was all down to the decision to decide two World Cup hosts at the same time.

He managed to evade questions about his salary, the way Fifa is run and why, after 13 years in charge, he should be trusted when he says he is now the great reformer.

When the racism storm does die down, these are the matters and questions that Blatter will have to return to.

And, while his comments on racism give more ammunition to his critics who say he is out of touch, they will ultimately determine his legacy.

Saying sorry was the easy part. His biggest problems still lie ahead.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    The guy is a joke.

    Say one thing one day and then the opposite the next.

    This from a guy whose first task as FIFA president was to get his hotel suite upgraded.........shows you what he is all about.

    Me first and football second....

  • Comment number 2.

    This has been ridiculously over hyped by the English media who are still annoyed they didn't get the 2018 World Cup.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sepp was both right and wrong in his comments.

    He was right in the fact that if an insulting remark is made in the heat of the moment (including a racially charged comment), then both pros should acknowledge the passion of the game, shake hands and share a pint after the game.

    He was wrong, however, to bracket all racial abuse in that one category. Some racial abuse is not just a heat of the moment insult to an opponent, but a calculated and nefarious show of hate and spite.

    Every incident should be viewed on a case-by-case basis.


    There also should be more effort to differentiate between a player abusing another pro, and obnoxious chants from fans.

    Racism which emanates from the crowd is 100 times worse than abuse wirhin the the heated confines of the field of play.

    There should be a zero tolerance approach to racism and other hateful chants which come from the stands, and I can see no other better measure than docking points/throwing teams out of a cup for large-scale transgressions from their fans.

  • Comment number 5.

    Atta boy Sepp Blatter Kid. Don't mind this shower. People would want to get a grip on racism. Being called a racist is nearly the worst thing to bestoy someone. We're different people, learn to accept and love differences between the races. Lets not pretend everyone is the same. Give Sepp a break. We all say things in the heat of the battle. Were we to say something about a mother, daughter, etc. we shake hands after the match and move on. Why is racism held in such esteem.

  • Comment number 6.

    .
    DICTATORSHIP ???

    Looks like it, doesn't it?
    It should not be up to an individual whether a member at the top echelon of FIFA should stay or go.

    So, why not form an independent body to pass judgement if a member has brought the integrity of FIFA into disrepute.

    Here we have President Blatter of FIFA refusing to even consider resigning his position and there's nothing anyone else can do about it, definitely not a democratic set up, in my opinion.

  • Comment number 7.

    I am a bit surprised at seeing David Bond portraying this as being a bigger blow to Blatter than many of the other scandals that have plagued FIFA later. In most other countries this has hardly even been mentioned except in passing, certainly there was more fuss about the corruption scandal. That said, of course this was a totally hopeless statement by Blatter, but I can't say I was very surprised...

  • Comment number 8.

    Irrelevant of whether or not he was 'misinterpreted', it's a stupidly naive thing to say as head of World Football. He should be aware how every word he utters will come across to everyone else.

    Punishments for racist chants and other forms of abuse are not tough enough. I agree with Soul Patch, there should be zero tolerance.

    I remember a good few years ago, a goalkeeper playing in Spain had to bananas thrown at him by opposition fans. The club was fined about 400 euros. As someone pointed out, 'What's that, 200 euros a banana?!'

  • Comment number 9.

    certainly Mr Sexwhale's statement smacked less of an apology on Blatter's behals but more of a dig at the English press and English FA for allowing an alleged racist being England captain. I was not impressed.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    @8 *TWO NOT TO!!!!

    I am mortified.

  • Comment number 12.

    re the comment on bananas, thank God we have since the back of the days of Geordie fans throwing bucket fulls of the fruit at West Ham's Clyde Best.......in the 70s mind you!

  • Comment number 13.

    9. At 21:29 18th Nov 2011, Littlefork wrote:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not impressed by your xenophobic mockery of Mr. Sexwale's surname.

    He was spot on about the shambles surrounding awarding the captaincy to a player who is under investigation for alleged comments relating to race.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    The human brain is not advanced enough to deal with different races appropriately. It either brands different races as the same or different. In truth it is somewhere in between. Of course previous behaviour towards certain races was absurd and vulgar. However differences do exist between races and these differences ust be recognised before moving forward

  • Comment number 16.

    He needs to resign. Let's make it happen! [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 17.

    12. At 21:32 18th Nov 2011, Littlefork wrote:

    re the comment on bananas, thank God we have since the back of the days of Geordie fans throwing bucket fulls of the fruit at West Ham's Clyde Best.......in the 70s mind you!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The other day, I was watching Youtube footage of the Old Firm derby when Mark Walters became the first black player to represent Rangers.

    A highly audible section of the Celtic fans were making monkey noises every time Walters touched the ball, and at half-time one side of the pitch was littered with bananas!

    And this was in 1988 or 1989!

  • Comment number 18.

    Patch

    Post 4. The fans follow their idols, so if they get away with it what do you think they will do?

    Zero tolerence for all. Not case by case.

    Post 10. Great post until 4th paragraph and you went back on your own anti-english agenda

  • Comment number 19.

    "
    @14.... Maybe even Swiss ?

  • Comment number 20.

    Thirty years ago Sepp Blatter's original statements would not have raised much of an eyebrow in England or much of the world because most people would have agreed. If we can take any positives from Blatter's clumsy statements, it is that racism and prejudice are unacceptable not just in football but society as an whole.
    Hopefully this changes attitudes in FIFA, who can use this situation to tackle racism and prejudice that is still on display at many football matches. Sometimes FIFA has turned a blind eye to some clubs and national associations that have done little to stamp out racist chanting.
    So maybe something positive can emerge from this? Let us hope so because we have come a long way in thirty years, but we still have further to go.

  • Comment number 21.

    .

    @ Ajmon. . . 5

    . . . are you out of your mind?
    Would you honestly tolerate if somebody has said something derogatory about your mother?. . .and shake hands with the culprit afterwards?? You're crackers mate !!

    Take for instance Terry is supposed to have used the word beginning with "c" prefixing it with "black" though not even yet proven if it was true. But if it was directed, Ajmon, at your mother, would you take it as a banter and shake hands with the guy after the game? I definitely wouldn't, I'd give him a good seeing to instead !!

  • Comment number 22.

    18. At 21:36 18th Nov 2011, t4rkadal wrote:

    The fans follow their idols, so if they get away with it what do you think they will do?

    Zero tolerence for all. Not case by case.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I believe that transgressions of generally accepted morality should be based on intent.

    It's human nature that, if someone hurts you or winds you up, that you'll instantly try and hurt them back.

    I don't see why race should be a special category in this regard. If an overweight player fouls you, then is it acceptable to call him a fat so-and-so? If a ginger haired player fouls you, is it acceptable to call him a carrot-headed so-and-so? If someone, who's no oil-painting, fouls you, then is it acceptable to call him an ugly so-and-so?

    If all of these insulting personal remarks are ''part and parcel of the game'', then why should similar comments regarding someone's skin colour or ethnicity be treated any differently?

  • Comment number 23.

    19. At 21:39 18th Nov 2011, swindonbluearmy wrote:
    "
    @14.... Maybe even Swiss ?
    ==================================================
    Apologies, I must have been thinking of some other tyrant!

  • Comment number 24.

    22. At 21:44 18th Nov 2011, You wrote:

    I believe that transgressions of generally accepted morality should be based on intent.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just to rephrase this more clearly: I believe that transgressions of generally accepted standards of morality, should be judged on the intent of the transgressor.

    If someone, in the heat of the moment, after getting physically hurt in the tackle, blurts out ''you black so-and-so'', then that isn't nearly as bad as a premeditated act of racist abuse from a crowd.

  • Comment number 25.

    Isn't racism less prevalent in football than in most other walks of life? In how many firms/schools/political parties/places of worship do we see whites and non-whites mixing so freely, selected purely on merit, apparently treating each other with friendship and respect. Of course there'll be the occasional ass who genuinely doesn't like other races, and the player who has just been kicked on the shin might be tempted to allude to the colour or race of his tormentor, but do blacks or Asians suffer more abuse than ginger or Welsh opponents? Of course the fans are going to come out with the normal moronic, offensive stuff. That's what they do. But do coloured players get a harder time than the other team as a whole? I would have thought the real nastiness was reserved for traditional rivals in the Arsenal-Tottenham, Man U-Liverpool or Old Firm mould. Colour doesn't come into it. I can't help thinking Blatter is right: racism is the last refuge of an idiot in any arena, but is less of a problem in sport than in life in general. Football may not have eradicated it, but it's surely leading the way.

  • Comment number 26.

    hmm patch im torn. I see what you are geting at and agree the nature of the attack should not be singled out, but why cant they retaliate without being personal. In the heat of the moment its hard I know but if I was paid as much as they were I'm sure I could control my mouth. And if not accept the consequences.

  • Comment number 27.

    The usual massive over reaction from our media. The guy has made a reasonable comment,perhaps not as luvvie as most of our media might like, but it hardly justifies a firestorm and actually creates more racism than it seeks to attack. This type of attention only causes the more mindless among us to use racism as a tool to bully on the streets when there is no protection.

  • Comment number 28.

    Also, just to point out how prevalent racist attitudes are in English football, I can only point you towards a really creepy and obnoxious which was made on another blog.

    This poster insinuated that an EPL club and their manager were racist because they have no black players in their first-team squad.

    Despite the fact that the insinuator was quite clearly the racially biased goon, as, strangely enough, I'd never even thought about the ethnic make-up of the particular squad, until he odiously brought it up.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    @23 .... It's an irrelevance really he's still a pillok haha

  • Comment number 31.

    .

    @ysejohn 25

    . . but I bet Arsenal and Totenham supports don't call each other " you white English a***hole" do they ???

  • Comment number 32.

    Sepp Blatter seems to be able to do anything and say anything without FIFA showing any concern. The reputation and integrity of FIFA needs to be brought into question.

  • Comment number 33.

    26. At 21:54 18th Nov 2011, t4rkadal wrote:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not attempting to justify any kind of personal abuse on the field of play, whether it skin colour, ethnicity, hair colour, weight, height, physical aesthetics, etc.

    What I'm querying is why skin colour and ethnicity are treated as ''special cases'' in terms of heat-of-the-moment player v player abuse, yet all the other insulting personal remarks are generally accepted as ''part and parcel of the game''.

    If an overweight player commits a reckless tackle, and you're upset, then what - in your state of pain and anger - would you say to hurt him the most? Probably something like ''you fat so-and-so''!

    If a black player commits a reckless tackle, and you're upset, then what - in your state of pain and anger - would you say to hurt him the most? Probably something like ''you black so-and-so''!

    When the circumstances and motivations are the same, then why should the latter be a cardinal sin, but the former just be ''part and parcel of the game''?

  • Comment number 34.

    33. Totally agree, they should not be special cases. leave the personal stuff out or be punished. Job done.

  • Comment number 35.

    Common sense needs to prevail here - had it been anyone but Blatter, Sir Alex Ferguson maybe, then what he said would be recognised as taken out of context, but as it's Blatter then everyone wants him hung, drawn and quartered. In the heat of action, of battle, at the height of passions, people do things they'd otherwise newver say or do - I've nothing against ginger people but I daresay in a game of 5-a-side I've called one or two a ginger git (paraphrased needless to say) and I daresay that someone, a professional player, that doesn't like lets say Kieron Dyer (a player we'll mostly all admit isn't the world's greatest advert for footballers given his previous antics), after being tackled by him calls him "a B---- t---" then I highly doubt they don't like him because of his ethnic background, they don't like him (a) because he nearly broke their leg and (b) its Kieron Dyer. However once its over you'd hope that they could at least be civil to one another - after all we all work with people we don't like but we try and get on with them the best we can.
    What can't be excused is generalisation - a comentator saying that all black players are lazy, all foreigners are diving cheats (and sometimes I think even the best commentators have come close to saying that) or a referee being abused with words such as "all Jewish refs deserve to die" etc. That's inexcusable in any situation.

  • Comment number 36.

    @26 - The slight difference is that you've chosen two variables, one which is uncontrollable and one which is.

    I agree neither is acceptable to use as an insult, but the issue of racism affects a far greater proportion of people, and - in my opinion - is a more pressing matter than the amount of people being harassed for being overweight.

  • Comment number 37.

    I do believe that the English press have over-hyped this issue of Blatter because of their anger at losing the hosting rights for the 2018 world cup. I am not surprised that no other country's press is covering this story the way the British press is doing. it also says something about the whole issue of racism in Britain. Maybe they press should point fingers at how the English FA has addressed the issue at home before looking elsewhere to blame somebody. Blatter has shown in his actions over the years that he is not a racist. So if he misspoke at this time, it is certainly no reason why he should resign. And good thing he has apologized.

  • Comment number 38.

    Comment 36 is directed at comment 33.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    Bj.

    how many people it effects is irrelevent. if its personal its personal. do you think some one who is insulted because of their race is any less upset than someone who is insulted because of their size or to use otherne of Souls examples, hair colour, my son has ginger hair and I know he is just upset by jibes about that as my friends who have recived comments on race.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hell, matt-stone, "you white English a***hole" would be so mild they wouldn't even bother to say it! Don't you remember the crowd screaming at blond, blue-eyed David Beckham that they hoped his young son died of cancer? And although we Brits are inherently xenophobic, I swear most of us don't object to people with different-coloured skin. It's the Germans, French, Americans and anyone else who makes us look silly that we can't bear!

  • Comment number 42.

    For once Soul patch of Villa... I think i actually agree with you. Blimey. In the intensity of today's football, where nothing but a win was acceptable for Liverpool, emotions can run high and you can just let things slip if things don't go well. If you then think about it and regret it then you find the player, apologise, shake his hand and buy him a pint. If you think this has never happened to you and it will never then you are a liar and a hypocrite. If that person doesn't apologise and just says that he is not guilty due to a misunderstanding then he should still apologise and buy him a pint. Poyet says that Evra was acting like a baby, but I think it is Suarez being childish by not manning up and apologising. Blatter should still be kicked out, he is just as bad and out of touch.

  • Comment number 43.

    I really feel sorry for us Brits, but it really gauls me having to put up with this time and time again, where suddenly all the pundits fall into line behind the 'official line' and start this useless tub-bashing. No-one else in the world gives a damn. It could only happen here in little old Blightey, and that really is point, isn't it? We are really just a small island of natives who think the whole world revolves around SW1, with the media elite giving us our daily bread. Simple stated, no-one else gives a damn, just us. Sad really.

  • Comment number 44.

    38.
    At 22:17 18th Nov 2011, Bj wrote:


    Comment 36 is directed at comment 33.
    -------------------------------------------------
    agh then sorry i responded thinking you aimed at my comment :)

  • Comment number 45.

    t4rkadal

    I did not mean to say that things such as obesity, hair colour etc. were not important because of the varying number of people who feel its effects.

    In an ideal world, no one would be picked on over anything, but priority-wise - while it may sound harsh - I feel racism should be eradicated before others

  • Comment number 46.

    45. I understand and you are right, Just touched a nerve. Ill be more objective before posting.

  • Comment number 47.

    I am massively anti Blatter and anti FIFA, and would like to see both man an organisation replaced ASAP.

    However, I am utterly embarrassed by the English media reaction and the host of bandwagon jumpers that have so arrogantly called for Blatter´s resignation over this particular issue.

    We sit here in England thinking that our view is always shared across every other country, and therefore we have the right and influence to make such demands (Blatter´s resignation) in the assumption that it is only our opinion that counts because we are England.

    When will we wake up from this illusion? The fact is this was a non-story outside of our own country.

    Were we right to criticize Blatter? 100% yes the guy made a massive mistake, but why not just demand for an apology and retraction, after all, like him or not, this is the same man that has overseen the establishment and growth of African football

    But to react the way have,making knee-jerk demands and playing our own agenda card is just shooting ourselves in the foot. Why do we always assume that everyone else agrees with us? This is just yet another example of why we are perceived as arrogant.

    With the odd exception, we have such poor quality sports journalism in this country it makes me weep!

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    Am glad he has apologised and i think the English media have over hyped it. But could this be because of the two current investigations currently running within English football?

    To say "there is no racism" is a joke. we all no there is. As there is many other insults being bandied around o a daily basis in all aspects of life, not just football. But this does not mean it should be tolerated.

    I also disagree that calling somone fat and making a comment about the colour of someones skin are the same thing. If you are hurt by jibes about your weight then do something about it. if you are hurt by jibes about your skincolour exactly what is it you can do?

    Think there might a few michael jackson looking footballers wondering the pitch soon....

  • Comment number 50.

    We have a disease in Britain, it's called OTT syndrome. Whenever a cause with good intent is taken up it is highjacked by a pathetic minority and used for their own ends. We have seen it so many times in recent years, the smoking ban, poverty in Britain [they even changed the definition of poverty]. Now racist and racism the definition changed more or less overnight.

    The Mark Brights and Garth Crooks of this world should not be allowed to use their positions with the BBC for their own agenda. They demand the resignation of Blatter, maybe they should be looking at themselves for abusing their position with the BBC.

    Crooks and his statement 'football must not be able to think it is outside the law'. Totally agree Garth but not that long ago you were part and parcel of the thinking that assault on a pitch should be kept in house and dealt with by the FA. I wonder what your stance is on the recent spitting incident.

    Mark Bright with the 'all abuse is bad but racist is worse attitude' so now you are the expert on what constitutes the level of crime. I suppose any crime with racist roots is worse than any other similar crime.

    This country has done more than most for the promotion of racial harmony and football has been to the fore in recent years. People like Bright and Crooks may actually be taking us backwards with their totally one sided views regarding what constitutes a racist and demanding the removal of anyone that does not agree with them.

  • Comment number 51.

    .

    @ ysejohn 41

    you wrote :..." I swear most of us(Brits) don't object to people of different coloured skin "....

    . . .not many years ago it was accepted as normal here in Britain landlords advertising their properties for renting to add at the bottom of their ads..." Sorry, No Coloureds.." And that only stopped when legislation was passed ny Parliament outlawing it.

  • Comment number 52.

    36. At 22:14 18th Nov 2011, Bj wrote:

    @26 - The slight difference is that you've chosen two variables, one which is uncontrollable and one which is.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes, I accept that - barring a genetic condition - weight can be controlled.

    However, my point wasn't so much about physical characteristics that someone can or can't control. My point was that, in the heat of the moment and suffering from physical pain, someone may well blurt out an unpleasant personal insult which they think will hurt the person who they feel aggrieved by.

    Perhaps someone with red-hair would have been a better example. People with ginger hair are constantly mocked (even so a lot of the time it's done in good nature) throughout their life, so is it really any worse that a player calls another pro a ''black so-and-so'', as opposed to a ''ginger so-and-so''?

  • Comment number 53.

    If you go to work and call someone a N----- what will happen? Football, in this context is a job after all.
    If its Blatters 5th language don't comment in it, simple.
    An overreaction of the English media, I'd say an under reaction of the other European media, but then I’m a small minded Xenophobic Englander. Apparently

  • Comment number 54.

    50. At 22:45 18th Nov 2011, Londoner in exile returns wrote:

    We have a disease in Britain, it's called OTT syndrome. Whenever a cause with good intent is taken up it is highjacked by a pathetic minority and used for their own ends. We have seen it so many times in recent years, the smoking ban, poverty in Britain [they even changed the definition of poverty]. Now racist and racism the definition changed more or less overnight.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Stop it. You'll be accuse of being an alter ego of me, in a minute. :P

    Seriously though, you are correct. It's incredible that the cliche of an Englishman used to be someone who was reserved, circumspect and in control of his emotions.

    Now the general English attitude is one of self-indulgence, hypersensitivity, excessive, overplayed emotion and general wussery.

    What's happened to you guys?

  • Comment number 55.

    An overreaction of the English media, I'd say an under reaction of the other European media,
    -----------------------------------------------
    And what about the African media? Were they under reacting too? Again we make the assumption that we know best

  • Comment number 56.

    @14 Ramilas1...And you have the audacity to call the English racist, your comments are on par with Mr Blatters, unfounded and completely stupid..perhaps you should consider resigning from making any more comments.

  • Comment number 57.

    But do coloured players get a harder time than the other team as a whole? I would have thought the real nastiness was reserved for traditional rivals in the Arsenal-Tottenham, Man U-Liverpool or Old Firm mould.
    -------------

    Scotland is different: a lower proportion of ethnic minorities where sectarianism has had a longer historical foothold in 'hate' crime. But even so there is no divide in employment, housing, marriage and partnerships, and educational opportunties: kids in celtic tops play football with their mates in rangers tops. But UEFA were right to intervene with one of the OF clubs in Europe over their sectarian 'anthems'. And its helped reinforce the message in the domestic game.
    -------
    If Blatter should resign on the basis of 'racism denial or ignorance' then what should happen to Suarez if he is found guilty of racism in the workplace? Or John Terry if he is found guilty?

    Platini will make a better FIFA president

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    @matt-stone 51

    Not many years ago people kicked dachshunds to death because they were German! We've moved on. Only a retarded minority object to blacks, and they'll grow out of it. Not because of laws, but because so many of our best people are black. Racism of a sort will probably survive, because patriotism will survive. They are opposite faces of the same coin. Blind support for one's own country, or blind distrust of another. But it's not about colour any more. Football is an interesting microcosm: the fans seem as passionate as ever about their team, even if it doesn't have a single player whose name they can pronounce...

  • Comment number 60.

    David, you hardly gave him a grilling. From the edited bits I saw on the news anyway. Did you press him on the attitudes of Vice President Grondola who said in 2003,

    'I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee at that level (Argentine Premier League) because it’s hard work and, you know, Jews don’t like hard work.’

    Did you press him on photos of him with some of the world's biggest human rights abusers such as the lovely photo of him giving him an award to former Liberian leader, Charles Taylor, who is being tried in the Hague for crimes against humanity?

    A lot of people have said that this is a 'non story' outside Britain. It is only a non-story in the non British media. Ask the former Brazil forward Romario who is now a Congressman in Brazil and is fighting a campaign to clean up FIFA and football.

  • Comment number 61.

    Matt Stone
    @51
    . . .not many years ago it was accepted as normal here in Britain landlords advertising their properties for renting to add at the bottom of their ads..." Sorry, No Coloureds.." And that only stopped when legislation was passed ny Parliament outlawing it.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I remember it well growing up in London where it existed but as you say the change in law only stopped the signs. It didn't change peoples attitudes, time, education and understanding did that.

  • Comment number 62.

    A lot of people here are really trivializing racism and racist abuse. Comparing racial abuse with mockery of ginger or overweight lads displays a crass ignorance of history and it's lessons.

    Last time I checked, ginger or overweight lads weren't fettered, chained and packed in cages and what could pass for chicken coops to be transported as slave labour to toil under the whips of their "masters". They weren't subjected to institutionalized segregation, exclusion and ostracism. They've never faced systematic elimination "solutions" to the problems they apparently posed to a "master race".

    It really is irritating watching some out-of-touch, smug people trying to define what minorities should consider offensive and proceeding to draw the most vacuous analogies with incomparable situations. Please, quit the madness.

    The corollary of the darkest periods of inter-racial relations is the former dominated groups eschewing any profiling and race baiting in what the more secure majority would see as "banter". It simply shows an ignorance of the dynamics of accepted interaction between the groups. For example, blacks calling themselves the N-word would never make it alright for other groups to replicate it with them due to it's history. Some people should honestly desist from commenting on what they have no clue about in an attempt to sound clever.

  • Comment number 63.

    42. At 22:22 18th Nov 2011, Jamie wrote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another thing which should be pointed out about Suarez, is that he is ethnically mestizo/Amerindian, and he comes from a country which is 85% white.

    As an ethnic minority in his home country, he is bound to have experienced racial ''banter'' or outright prejudice on a personal level.

  • Comment number 64.

    @ 63

    this does not give him a right to verbally abuse someone of another colour. whether he did it or not still has not been answered but your post makes it sound like two wrongs make a right.

  • Comment number 65.

    monsieurthierry
    @62

    I suggest you study and try to understand what being a racist and practising racism really means.

    As for you writing

    Last time I checked, ginger or overweight lads weren't fettered, chained and packed in cages and what could pass for chicken coops to be transported as slave labour to toil under the whips of their "masters". They weren't subjected to institutionalized segregation, exclusion and ostracism. They've never faced systematic elimination "solutions" to the problems they apparently posed to a "master race".

    Are you seriously writing that in a piece relating to Blatter and the possible cases of suspected abuse.

    I wrote earlier of going OTT, you are reaching a new level.

  • Comment number 66.

    62. At 23:08 18th Nov 2011, monsieurthierry wrote:

    Last time I checked, ginger or overweight lads weren't fettered, chained and packed in cages and what could pass for chicken coops to be transported as slave labour to toil under the whips of their "masters".
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Last time I checked, none of that happened in 2011. :rollseyes:

    Behave yourself.

    If you are genuinely concerned about racism, then what's the point of bringing up 200-year-old history which has no relevance today, unless you want to exacerbate the problem?

    If you keep on bringing up historical abominations, then how exactly are we going to progress towards a more civilised society?

  • Comment number 67.

    64. At 23:17 18th Nov 2011, Liverpaul85 wrote:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have to tiptoe around the point, due to being modded on another blog.

    I'm not saying that two wrongs make a right. I'm merely saying that someone who has experienced the situation first hand, would be less likely to extend that abuse in earnest.

  • Comment number 68.

    @ 66

    I agree and disagree with your comments in this post.

    "If you keep on bringing up historical abominations, then how exactly are we going to progress towards a more civilised society?"

    i completely agree with this and it hurts me to say it! I think we need to look to the future and decide what we can do to stamp out these kinds of abuse.

    "Last time I checked, none of that happened in 2011. :rollseyes"

    Just because it didn't happen in 2011 doesn't make it irrelevant. while we have to look to the future there is no harm in remembering the mistakes made previously and understanding the hurt this may have caused to all those involved.

  • Comment number 69.

    My comment broke house rules?! Nothing offensive and made up of factual statement's and my personal opinions regarding Mr Blatter (which I toned down for the post). Strange....

    I'll try again. Sepp Blatter thinks Racism can be sorted out with a hand-shake. Not much else to say really. He shouldn't be anywhere near a position of power in the world game.

    FIFA's reputation is mired in controversy and doubt and Blatter makes it worse every time he open his mouth.

    The English media are rightly outraged that he has treated the subject of racism so flippantly. I'm astonished that the other member associations have barely reacted at all. It shows that they don't want to rock the boat and are more interested in their precious funding than decency and ethics. What a sad state of affairs.

  • Comment number 70.

    62. no one is trivialising abuse of any kind, just puting in todays perspective - the perspective that its all wrong.

    Please explain to a child who has not experienced the history you speak about how having a different hair colour is different to skin colour.

  • Comment number 71.

    At 21:32 18th Nov 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:
    9. At 21:29 18th Nov 2011, Littlefork wrote:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not impressed by your xenophobic mockery of Mr. Sexwale's surname.

    Since when does a typo suddenly turn into xenophobic mockery?!!! methinks you look too closely for things that are not there!

  • Comment number 72.

    68. At 23:23 18th Nov 2011, Liverpaul85 wrote:

    Just because it didn't happen in 2011 doesn't make it irrelevant. while we have to look to the future there is no harm in remembering the mistakes made previously and understanding the hurt this may have caused to all those involved.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Absolutely. We shouldn't ignore history.

    But why should the abominations of the transatlantic slave trade be continually brought up as an ''appeal to emotion.''

    We all agree that the slave trade was heinous, but Britain abolished it in 1807 - over 200 years ago.

    What's the point of divisively bringing it up, time and time again, when 99% of people in 2011 agree that it was abhorrent?

    I mean, it's not exactly like any country is going to enslave Africans in the foreseeable future, now is it? So why the necessity of bringing up this historical event?

  • Comment number 73.

    .
    @ysejohn

    Like a retired black footballer said about name-calling during a game :..." if they had called me..idiot or clumsy oaf...it wouldn't be so bad, I would have carried on regardless. But why do white players have to add the word "black" or my racial origin into everything whenever there is a disagreement or bad tackle ??..."

    I'm certain, ysejohn, the guy has a valid point. . .its notable that black players never ever use abusive derogatory adjectives to denote race or nationality to their white counterparts.
    So, why do white players do it??? In golf recently Tiger Woods came under racial fireworks from none other than his former bag-carrier, Steve Williams. And in F1 Lewis Hamilton is under similar bombardment from all quarters. Shameful !!

  • Comment number 74.

    Isn't racism less prevalent in football than in most other walks of life?
    -------------

    Doesn't football just mirror a wider UK labour market divide? In how many football clubs are there non-white coaches/ managers, and directors? Are there senior non-white FA Committee members?

  • Comment number 75.

    @62 monsieurthierry

    Are you saying people can't move on, learn from their mistakes, change their attitudes? Do you believe that every group that has been persecuted by another group must be treated differently for the rest of time? The British were slaughtered by the Romans, the Welsh by the Anglo-Saxons, the Anglo-Saxons by the Danes and Normans etc etc. How many races have no cross to bear? Who benefits from constantly referring to the past, except the purveyors of pseudo-scientific claptrap, keen for victims to protect?

  • Comment number 76.

    71. At 23:30 18th Nov 2011, Littlefork wrote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Behave yourself!

    You know exactly what you did there with Tokyo Sexwale's surname.

  • Comment number 77.

    What I find strange, is that most people have no idea what a constitutes a racistor indeed what racism really is.

    Blatter may be a fool to deny that there are no racists involved in football but it is his opinion.

    Regarding racial harmony in the UK, we have made enormous progress in the last 50 years and as I have written before witch hunting can set the process back.

  • Comment number 78.

    @72 you are right times have moved on.....to enslaving Eastern European females into prostitution, indian children into making cheap clothes and most of china into making electronic gadgets

  • Comment number 79.

    @ soul_patch

    "I mean, it's not exactly like any country is going to enslave Africans in the foreseeable future, now is it? So why the necessity of bringing up this historical event?"

    I am sure that slavery is rife in certain parts of the world. Maybe not on as wide a scale as previously but it still happens in certain areas. Africa being one of them.

    do you not think these middle east dictators enslave their people?

    Not disagreeing that we should certainly try and forgive things from the past, just don't want them being forgotten as this could lead to similar problems in the future.

  • Comment number 80.

    At 23:34 18th Nov 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:
    71. At 23:30 18th Nov 2011, Littlefork wrote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    76. At 23:34 18th Nov 2011, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:
    Behave yourself!

    You know exactly what you did there with Tokyo Sexwale's surname.

    You give me credit where none is due!! What are you going on about?...dur?

  • Comment number 81.

    Perhaps I'm missing something here, but WHY should he resign?

    And didn't he make a good point - that players routinely insult each other on the pitch and that's where the matter should stay?

  • Comment number 82.

    I'm not in anyway equating recent controversial racial incidents with slavery or the holocaust. I'm just pointing out how it pi55e5 me off hearing yet another person equating racial abuse with the ginger or fat kid scenario. It's an ignorant line of thinking from a couple of smug, secure people.

    Call me presumptuous but I can assure you if you were black (which I am by the way), you'll never draw such an analogy. Abusing a ginger or fat kid isn't borne of any real, deep-seethed bigotry and prejudice: just basically an attempt to offend. Racist, homophobic and xenophobic abuse can though. Yes, it could be in the spur of a heated moment but could also represent deeper etched problems. The cases simply aren't comparable.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    Matt stone
    @73

    You do not know just how wrong you are when you say black people do not use abusive terms aimed at white people.

    I have had it all my life,from balck and white but I would state, those that I have known, very few been racist.

    If a person can understand it with an open mind, then with experience you get the feel of what is racist abuse and what is just plain abuse.

  • Comment number 85.

    Fantastic insight and assessment of Seb Blatters current plight and the public perception in light of the latest scandel, particularly interesting to hear David tell us about his impression of Blatters nervousness behind the cameras. This is a man of 75 years old why does he cling on so dearly to the his dictatorship of our beautiful game? David as someone who works for the beeb and has met the man on numerous occasions do you think that Seb Blatter views us as a nuisance for constantly trying to remove him from his postion

  • Comment number 86.

    >"his claims that racist incidents on the field of play"

    "Racist incident" is a nice broad term which could encompass most of human experience.

    Should certain players be shielded from insults on account of their skin color? That's the question here. I doubt if David Bond believes that any player should be punished for calling Terry a "chav" on the pitch. So who's going to make up the list of prohibited terms and on what basis will the list be constructed? Is calling an Irish player "Mick" or "Paddy" to be banned? What about calling a French player a frog? Calling a white player "white"? Calling a black player "black"?

    Give reasons for your answers.

  • Comment number 87.

    80. At 23:41 18th Nov 2011, Littlefork wrote:

    You give me credit where none is due!! What are you going on about?...dur?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Oh, stop it!

    Sexwhale?! That's a level above the Sky Sports octopus!

  • Comment number 88.

    >"Abusing a ginger or fat kid isn't borne of any real, deep-seethed bigotry and prejudice: just basically an attempt to offend. Racist, homophobic and xenophobic abuse can though. Yes, it could be in the spur of a heated moment but could also represent deeper etched problems."


    What "deeply etched problems" did you have in mind? And who appointed you to decide which insults are acceptable and which are not?

  • Comment number 89.

    87.Oh, stop it!

    Sexwhale?! That's a level above the Sky Sports octopus!

    ---------------------

    Ah so there we have it. An "inverted" xenophobic.

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    79. At 23:40 18th Nov 2011, Liverpaul85 wrote:

    I am sure that slavery is rife in certain parts of the world. Maybe not on as wide a scale as previously but it still happens in certain areas. Africa being one of them.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some Sri Lankan tea-pickers only earn a few pence a day. Slavery was only abolished in Mauritania, in 1984, although, according to reports, slavery is still widespread throughout rural regions of West Africa. 9-year-old kids work 16-hours a day in Vietnamese and Cambodian sweatshops.

    Of course slave labour (or practically slave labour) goes on throughout the world today. It's an absolute travesty; but that's reality.

    But there's no ''race-based'' element to this. The people are getting enslaved by their own race and their own compatriots.

    The racially-involved transatlantic slave trade has absolutely no relevance to modern-day Western societies in 2011.

  • Comment number 92.

    >"so insistent that racism on the pitch was the same as foul language"


    David Bond seems quite insistent that foul language on the pitch is the same as racism, though he has not deigned to explain WHY he thinks that.

  • Comment number 93.

    89. At 23:54 18th Nov 2011, Littlefork wrote:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chill out!

    I accept that your spelling was a typo, but you just have to understand that it may well have been Freudian. :P

  • Comment number 94.

    he may be black (and it is politically correct to use the term black) and his parents may not be married. Even if this is the case and the two words are factually correct, the sentiment (allegedly expressed)would still be racist.............the law is quite well defined and largely relies on how the injured party received and felt about the comment made. It is the same with gender/sexual orientation/diability laws too.

  • Comment number 95.

    "A prototype example of pure English arrogance"

    and there goes the WUM again.

    Your views on this blog had, up until then, been well thought out, well written and without any real controversy. Why do you now feel the need to enter such tosh?!

    You sit there behind your computer with an obvious knowledge (or easy access to wikipedia and/or sky sports news) and write comments that most people will understand if not agree with and then you decide you have to make yourself look foolish with these comments.

    i thought you were Phil McNulty for a while. aiming these snide comments around trying to get as many comments as possible. But i doubt you would want to do that on a David Bond blog....

  • Comment number 96.

    I don't think David Bond knows anything at all about football itself. Has he ever even written on the topic? Or is it all just politics and economics masquerading as football?

  • Comment number 97.

    And somehow the rest of Europe and the rest of the world don't give a toss. Looks like the English media are looking for any and every excuse to get rid of him. Get over it England did not get the world cup

  • Comment number 98.

    86. At 23:49 18th Nov 2011, Twirlip wrote:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please don't spam this blog with common sense. ;)

    When the current class of Englishmen get their feelings hurt, they appear to start crying and sniveling.

  • Comment number 99.

    Monsieurthierry
    @82

    I married a black American woman, and lived in the USA with our daughter [southern state] in 1970, therefore I experienced the real end of what racism is but from both sides. I lived in France for many years and it is totally different again to the UK or the states.

    What we have witnessed in the UK in recent weeks although unacceptable in terms of abuse [no abuse is acceptable] it really cannot be classed as motivated racial abuse. You would have to be a racist or have a leaning towards racism for it to be that way.

    I've been called every name under the sun from both sides but there is rarely racism involved. When my race is mentioned of course it does not make it right but it is usually only ever said in heated moments. It is a human trait, sad but true and like all traits it takes years to lose them entirely.

    The current witch hunting often has a negative effect because it will never change YOUR or MY mind regarding race and harmony but it does reinforce the opinions of those who do have racist tendencies.

    Fifty years in the UK has seen major changes and I am proud of that, it is ongoing but only education and experiences can change minds, no law will ever do that.

  • Comment number 100.

    Again, another potentially serious subject matter is completely swamped by Soul_Patches thoughts and opinions. You are consistantly passive agressively racist towards British football and now you are some arbiter of racial discrimination and enlightnened thought?

    I have no problem at all with you destroying all the other blogs with your one note dogma - it's often very funny, if predictable - but here it comes across as a bit mental and misconstrued. I sometimes wonder if you can see how you are objectively viewed by others. You must be quite smart - Spanish football is indeed ushering in a new wave of excellence. Please, just think a bit more given that you are the number one poster. With that there comes a bit of responsibility.

 

Page 1 of 4

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.