News24

Blatter and Rio in Tweet war

2011-11-17 13:38

Zurich - Sepp Blatter has responded to Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand after the FIFA president said on-field incidents of racial abuse could be settled by a handshake.

Ferdinand wrote on Twitter that Blatter's views were "so condescending its almost laughable" in response to Blatters initial comments downplaying incidents of abuse on the field.

Ferdinand was backed up by various sectors of the football fraternity, including prominent British newspapers.

The England player then posted a sarcastic message after FIFA's website published a photograph of Blatter hugging Tokyo Sexwale, South Africa's own Minister of Human Settlements.

"(Sic) Fifa clear up the blatter comments with a pic of him posing with a black man..I need the hand covering eyes symbol!!" read Ferdinand's Tweet.

Blatter said Sexwale, a former Robben Island prisoner, "had done tremendous work against racism and apartheid in Africa."

Blatter did not stop there about a minute later he tweeted: "(Sic)...We (FIFA) have done several joint activities to raise awareness on the struggle against racism in South Africa...," defending his under-fire organization.

"...FIFA has a long standing and proud record in the area of anti-discrimination which will continue," he continued before referring to an article dated back to August in which he asked about the issue of racism in sport.

Blatter's comments Wednesday in television interviews seemed at odds with his pledge after being re-elected in June that FIFA would not tolerate a lack of respect on and off the field.

Blatter used the social networking site, which he joined ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, to direct a tweet at an individual user for the first time.

Asked if football had a problem with racist abuse among players, Blatter downplayed the issue and said players involved in such spats should settle the issue with a handshake.

The Swiss official's opinion sparked outrage in England where two top players are being investigated for racially insulting opponents during recent Premier League games.

Ferdinand — whose brother Anton was the target of an alleged slur by England captain John Terry — led the criticism, saying on Twitter that he was "astonished" by Blatter's comments.

Within hours, the English Football Association charged Liverpool forward Luis Suarez with racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, who is black.

Liverpool said Suarez will plead not guilty and insisted that the club is "fully supportive of Luis in this matter."

Terry has said his comments were taken out of context, but is being investigated by the FA and London police.

Later Thursday, UEFA will prosecute a case in which England was the victim of alleged discrimination.

The Bulgarian football federation has been charged after its fans allegedly directed verbal abuse at England players during a European Championship qualifier in Sofia in September.

AP

Comments
  • Graham - 2011-11-17 13:41

    Hey Blatter - Tokyo Sexwale is a thug! Well that's where you belong - with thugs!

      Sean - 2011-11-17 13:46

      Sexwale , Blatter and Malema - The 3 Musketeers :)

      James - 2011-11-17 13:48

      Graham you racist and you Sean

      Gerald - 2011-11-17 14:41

      SGANJA I will not call you an areshole because you are just passing through

      Lerato - 2011-11-17 15:26

      It takes one thug to know the crew!

  • kritzinger - 2011-11-17 13:52

    What shocks me most is that Ferdinand can spell "condescending".

      sean.looney - 2011-11-17 13:56

      why wouldn't he be able to?

      kritzinger - 2011-11-17 14:01

      He's a footballer ;)

      mmakiwane - 2011-11-17 14:06

      English is first language to Rio while it is second langauge to you Mr Kritzinger

      kritzinger - 2011-11-17 14:09

      Haha Mmakiwane, English is my first language. I'm curious to know how you drew that conclusion.

      Jack - 2011-11-17 14:59

      At age 11 he won a scholarship to attend the Central School of Ballet in London. He avidly attended the ballet classes, travelling to the city centre four days a week for four years. ....He does wear tutus..neh??

      Sidima - 2011-11-17 15:15

      unlike here RSA footballers, most footballers in 1st world countris actually finish school at tertiary level.

      Lerato - 2011-11-17 15:28

      I'm trying to understand what your point is Halfloaf, footballers cannot spell or speak engliss?

  • nicholas.rowan - 2011-11-17 14:07

    I know a way they can settle this! Handbags at 2 paces!

  • Henry - 2011-11-17 14:20

    Blatter is a disgrace to the game of football. Under his tenure, he has failed to stamp out racism in football and now he's trying to save face by making such ridiculous statements.

      Steenbra - 2011-11-17 15:09

      And everyone of us will always have racist tendencies...

      Steenbra - 2011-11-17 15:11

      And some are able to control and suppress these tendencies better than others..

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2011-11-17 14:21

    South Africa s history with racism is very disgusting, now even the foolish FIFA president is claiming to have fought against it to deflect his stupidity. Even the fifa website is now showing the picture of him hugging a Robben Island victim.

  • Carlo Hayes - 2011-11-17 14:24

    Is there nothing else to write about in sokker?

      Deon - 2011-11-17 15:38

      Yes we need another new coach, maybe Div is better at soccer?

  • Leendert - 2011-11-17 14:48

    The Ferdinands have no leg to stand on: Uncle Les is involved with an awards ceremony for BLACK footballers only. But don't you dare call them black, oh no, only Rio, Anton and Les are allowed to do that...

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2011-11-17 15:28

    Blatter and Ferdinand are both has-beens and well past their sell-by dates!

  • Laurie - 2011-11-17 15:40

    As much as I dislike the man, I have to admit, in this instance, I think he's right! In the heat of the moment I call John Terry a "white" bastard - because he is white! As I'm also white there is no question of rascism. Then I turn to his England team mate Rio Ferdinand and call him a "black" bastard - because he is black - and suddenly I'm a rascist. Come on. We are being far too sensitive here. Let's get on and play the game. Terry is a **** and so is Ferdinand.

  • comurray - 2011-11-17 16:39

    Come on you guys this is world wide, certain races think we owe them something. Racism will never stop. It is not only black/white. It also is rife amongst all nations where there is a language difference.

  • emile.eley - 2011-11-17 16:44

    Kick his old, wrinkly ass Rio!

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