Sepp Blatter must resign over racism comments, says Gordon Taylor
Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, has called on the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, to resign following his comments on racism in football.
On Wednesday Blatter used two separate television interviews to deny racism was an issue, and said any race-related incidents during games should be settled by a handshake.
Asked if racism was a problem on the pitch, Blatter told CNN World Sport: "I would deny it. There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one, but also the one who is affected by that. He should say that this is a game. At the end of the game, we shake hands."
He also said, on Al Jazeera: "During a match you may say something to someone who's not looking exactly like you, but at end of match it's forgotten."
Blatter later released a statement on the governing body's website saying he had been misunderstood, accompanied by a picture of him hugging South Africa's housing minister, Tokyo Sexwale.
His remarks were described as "astonishing" by Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand and the 75-year-old was branded "worryingly out of touch" by the anti-racism group Kick It Out.
Taylor, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said: "I just feel it's the straw that broke the camel's back.
"When you see the corruption they've had at Fifa, the comments he made about homosexuals not going to Qatar, the way he talked about women's football, the style of the arrangements for the World Cup, the fact he won't have technology. I think it's really time to move over for Michel Platini.
"It is embarrassing – if one person should get it about racism it is the head of Fifa, which has 200 countries in the world, is so diverse with different cultures, creeds and colours.
"He doesn't understand how divisive racism is – it creates 'them and us'. Football should be about pulling people together in society … When you have the head of the world body saying that anyone on the receiving end on the pitch of racism should just treat it as part of the game and shake hands, it is outrageous and he is just not with it."
The Blackburn striker Jason Roberts also attacked Blatter's comments.
"I'm truly shocked," said Roberts. "For him to say this in public is either very honest or very foolish. I am absolutely disgusted, lost for words, I cannot believe he has said something like that with all the issues that have gone on. I am absolutely fuming."
The former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright said: "To say I was staggered would be an understatement. This is the head of world football, whose slogan is 'For the Good of the Game'. What message does this send out after two or three decades of hard work fighting racism in football? He should resign his position because his views are archaic and out of touch."
In his statement following the television interviews, Blatter said: "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.
"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."