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Blatter refuses to resign over racism row

Sepp Blatter, the Swiss head of football’s world governing body, Fifa, has refused to resign over remarks he made that appeared to downplay racism in football.

This content was published on November 18, 2011 - 13:03
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Several British politicians and footballers have called for Blatter’s head over the remarks made during television interviews in which he said racist abuse on the football field should be settled with a handshake.

Blatter further inflamed the controversy by issuing a press release defending the remarks and including a photo of him with South African politician Tokyo Sexwale, who is black.

“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,” Blatter said in the press release.

“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.”

Speaking to the BBC on Friday Blatter apologised for the remarks but said: "I cannot resign. Why should I? To leave would be totally unfair and not compatible with my fighting spirit, my character, my energy."

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