FARE statement on Sepp Blatter comments about racism17 November 2011

FARE has expressed its shock at the comments made by FIFA president Sepp Blatter on racism in football.

Executive Director Piara Powar today commented, “Sepp Blatter’s comments about player-on-player racism are at best naïve, and at worst, display ignorance of a long recognised problem. They undermine the good work of a global movement against discrimination in football and in society, and FIFA’s own activities in this field.

“The leader of world football should not be commenting on an issue against the background of the two very high profile incidents under investigation in the UK, and the countless incidents of similar abuse that have taken place globally over the past decade.

“To tell someone who has been abused because of their ethnic background, or sexual orientation, disability or gender, that he or she should simply shake hands with the abuser is an insult in itself and displays an absolute lack of understanding.

“For the FARE network this furore is about more than simply the debate as to FIFA’s competence to lead and govern football. It echoes the culture of denial faced by many of those groups within the FARE network campaigning against discrimination and for social justice. We hear stories constantly of a lack of recognition of the problems faced by marginalised and abused sections of society.

“We await FIFA’s long term response to this furore.”

Read the Bleacher reports overview of 10 incidents of alleged player racism that have taken place globally – here

Read Sepp Blatters clarification of his initial comments – here