SAFA: Forgive Blatter
Johannesburg - The South African Football Association has commented on remarks on racism made by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, describing them as unforutnate, but calling for forgiveness following Blatter's apology.
SAFA said in a statement that Blatter's initial comments were unfortunate in the sense that they sent a wrong signal about FIFA's intention to wipe out racism in football.
"Our history with Blatter goes a very long way. We know him as a person who has always been upfront on confronting and condemning any form of racism and discrimination. His statement in Palestine recently clearly demonstrated his commitment to this cause," said a SAFA spokesperson.
"It is unfortunate that this matter was blown out of proportion as FIFA statutes are very clear on this matter of zero tolerance to any form of racism and discrimination. His lone voice insisting on South Africa hosting the first ever World Cup in 100 years on African soil, is further testimony of Blatter being a champion of anti-racism and discrimination.
"Blatter has traversed the globe preaching and discouraging any form of racism.
"We at no time doubted Blatter's stance on this issue, hence we view the latest statements as being unfortunate, regrettable and out of sync with what he stood for all his life as a servant of this beautiful game. "To his credit, Blatter issued a statement apologising unreservedly for this unfortunate statement. We as SAFA have accepted his apology. " However, having apologised for his proclamation, we hope the world will move on and forgive him. He has indeed owned up and retracted his statement and this to us shows great humility on his part as a leader of the number one sport on the universe."