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David Schneider

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Blatters to Deceive

Posted: 17/11/2011 11:12

It was quite a day for fans of colour-based prejudice in football yesterday. First you had the draw for the next round of matches in the Alleged Racism Cup (John Terry will take on Patrice Evra, while Suarez is away to Anton Ferdinand). Then Sepp Blatter managed to horrify all supporters of the Kick Racism Out campaign by launching his own Kick Racism Back In campaign.

Surely no right-minded individual (and thankfully it seems the England team has now solved its lack of a left-minded individual) could go along with his belief that racist abuse on the field could be solved by a simple handshake after the game. I suppose we should be grateful he didn't go on to say that the white players should probably wash their hands afterwards.

Of course, it's not the first time Blatter's shown himself to be out of touch. Just look at his refusal to embrace technology, a belief I presume he carries into the rest of his life, screaming at his wife as she gave birth that she couldn't have pain relief or any medical intervention as human error is all part of the game.

But this time the outcry's clearly got to him. He quickly tried to clarify his position on the FIFA website, alongside a picture of him hugging South Africa's Housing Minister, Tokyo Sexwale. The picture itself is surely the clearest visual representation so far this century of the 'Some of My Best Friends' defence.

The hug between the two of them in the picture is so fulsome, so far beyond Blatter's suggested post-abuse handshake, that you can't help wondering whether just beforehand he'd not only used the N-word but staged a Minstrel show culminating in a full 'Mammee' with jazz hands.

The good news is we can now call Blatter a stupid old racist twat as long as we shake hands with him afterwards. And at least FIFA may now seriously look at this matter.

They'll probably decide to officially sanction one racist comment every four years, with countries able to lobby a small number of delegates with what could easily be interpreted as bribes to vote for the comment to take place on their soil (early favourite with the bookies is for "Spoonfaced Towelhead" to be uttered in Sao Paolo in 2016).

But for now, it's urgent that the FIFA leadership make their position on racism clear and I fully expect that later on today Blatter will finally come out and say that there's absolutely no place for racism on the pitch - it should be kept on the terraces of Italy, Spain and Eastern Europe where it belongs.

 

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