Sepp Blatter insists racism in football is something that just isn’t that big of a deal. In fact, he went as far as denying it even exists, when yesterday he said this to CNN:
“I would deny it. There is no racism.”
Really? No racism Sepp? The banner above suggests differently. Infamously, it was displayed by Lokomotiv Moscow fans a year ago in the wake of Peter Odemwingie’s sale to West Brom. Odemwingie is a Nigerian international of mixed race, so I’ll let you figure out the implied context of the banana for yourself. Three months later, Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup by Sepp Blatter’s FIFA. It’s difficult to accept that there is indeed no racism in the game. It’s difficult to think in just over a year, the type of racism displayed above could just be wiped out of the game.
Despite Blatter’s outrageous claim, he still offered a suggestion for on-pitch racism to be addressed. And yes, it’s as absurd as you think it is:
“But the one who is affected by that, he should say that this is a game. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination.”
What’s just a game? Football or racism? Sepp is trivialising a major issue and brushing it aside. It’s typical arrogance from Blatter. He’s living in a fantasy land where his efforts in football, including riding the game of racism, have actually been succesful. To suggest that players subject to racist abuse should essentially get over it and shake hands with ignorant biggots is condescending and iresponsible. It’s not the first time he’s put his foot in his mouth but it should be the last. Go to Disney World if you want fantasies Sepp. The real world has had enough of your failures.