"Barmy" Blatter should go over racism claims - McCarthy
Published 22:30 17/11/11 By Simon Bird
Sepp Blatter is “miles away from reality” and answers to no-one, it has been claimed.
The FIFA president’s comments that on-field racial abuse can be settled by a handshake caused widespread outrage across British football.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis let rip with a withering assessment of Blatter’s take on racism, joining many in the game in questioning his role as the sport’s global leader.
Pulis said: “One thing it proves is that he is miles away from actually what is happening in football and what is happening in the world.
“There’s been quite a few things over the years where people have said that he can’t be in his right mind, he’s just proved again that he is miles away from reality.
“Who holds him to task? Who is above Blatter? Is he all powerful?
“Can he say what he wants to say and do what he wants to do without any comeback?
“That’s the big question, who does he answer to?”
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy branded Blatter’s comments as “outrageous” and “barmy” and called for him to quit.
McCarthy said: “They are outrageous comments from Blatter. I would expect better from a man heading that organisation, that’s for sure.
“It is doubtful whether he can remain. I say doubtful, but he runs the place.
“I think he should go, personally. His comments were barmy and at best misguided.”
Birmingham boss Chris Hughton - one of only two black managers in the English professional game, along with Charlton’s Chris Powell - said Blatter’s comments were “unacceptable”.
Hughton said: “For me, the massive concern is that one person who heads the world’s governing body firstly is allowed to make the comments that he made and secondly has made the comments.
“They are totally unacceptable and come at a time where things have improved dramatically, if I look at the sterling work clubs have done up and down the country, the great work by the campaigns Kick It Out and Show Racism The Red Card which have made massive strides.
“For the top person in world football to make the comments that he has done is totally unacceptable.”
Hughton added: “Of course, he almost seems untouchable. That is a big concern for me.”
Former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira, now an ambassador for Manchester City, said: "I don't agree with Blatter when he says that racism doesn't exist in football.
"There is racism in football. There is racism when you go to play games around the world.
"There is a campaign fighting against racism, and all of these kind of campaigns are really positive, but there is still more to be done.
Blatter also found himself under fire from the international players’ union FIFPro, who described his comments as “rather clumsy.”
In a statement, they added: “FIFPro knows that, in the heat of the battle, players sometimes indulge in indiscriminate language. There is however a bottom line which should not be crossed. There are things that you cannot just solve by shaking hands after the end of the match, as Mr Blatter suggests.
“In the past, FIFPro successfully worked together with FIFA in the fight against racism, but since the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, FIFA has hardly made itself heard on this fight, which is rather sad.”
Britain’s vice-president of FIFA, Jim Boyce, said: “I was very surprised to hear the president’s remarks but have been pleased that both he and FIFA have come out to try to clarify the situation.
“There should be zero tolerance regarding racism, sectarianism and discrimination in any shape or form.”
Sports minister Hugh Robertson, when asked if Blatter should resign, said: “Yes. I can’t see there’s anything terribly new in this. We’ve been saying this for some time.
“What Sepp Blatter said, in this country, is just completely wrong as well as being morally indefensible.
“If you’re going to put pressure on FIFA, it’s going to need more than an outcry in this country - and I think that commercial pressure is the one that in the end will tell.”
Coca Cola, one of FIFA’s 12 main sponsors, said in a statement: “We are not reconsidering our sponsorship.”