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SBD/November 18, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Sepp Blatter Apologizes For Comments On Racism, Says He Won't Resign
Published November 18, 2011
TIME TO GO? In London, Gabriele Marcotti writes after his comments, FIFA "went through the trouble of depicting Blatter embracing Tokyo Sexwale, a tireless anti-apartheid campaigner who spent 13 years imprisoned at Robben Island." It "appeared to be the age-old and somewhat tacky 'Some of my best friends are black' defence." FIFA's PR "flacks made this worse by not identifying Sexwale ... which prompted Rio Ferdinand to tweet 'FIFA clear up the Blatter comment with a pic of him posing with a black man'" (LONDON TIMES, 11/18). The GUARDIAN's David Conn wrote amid the FIFA "charm offensive mounted to repair the Sepp Blatter charm offensive bungled the day before was a reminder of all the good things FIFA has done to counter racism and discrimination in football." One of those reforms, "said to be 'at the proposal of president Blatter,' itself demonstrated how wrong and misguided he was to even think of talking about racism victims shaking hands with their abusers" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 11/17). In London, Matthew Norman writes Blatter has been "getting away with murder for a long time." If an "unwitting offence born of arrogance and stupidity does for him now, it would perhaps be rough justice." But "better that than no justice at all" (London TELEGRAPH, 11/18). Also in London, James Lawton writes Blatter, who "understands everything about the value of money and how it can shape people, and apparently absolutely nothing about the meaning of racism, should be driven out into the wind and the sand" (London INDEPENDENT, 11/18).