McCarthy labels Blatter ‘barmy’

Blatter suggested that racist abuse between players should be

settled by a handshake – and McCarthy said the FIFA president’s

remarks were so appalling he should step down. 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. He has

got to resign if he is going to go. “Whether he has got that about

him, I don’t know. He shouldn’t have said it. “I think he should go

personally. His comments were barmy and at best misguided.”

Birmingham defender Curtis Davies labelled Blatter’s remarks as

laughable. He said: “If someone calls you this and that due to your

race, you know they’ve dug deep to say that to you. “It’s just

laughable really to think that you could shrug off being called

whatever with a handshake.” Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan

said that racial abuse crossed the line of what should be left on

the pitch. “You have to accept there is banter on a football

pitch,” said Jordan. “But there are lines that are banter and there

are lines where you have to say ‘you can’t say that’, and when that

happens it can’t be forgotten at the end of a game.” Lord Herman

Ouseley, chair of football’s equality group Kick It Out, was left

stunned by the comments made by Blatter in two television

interviews. Ouseley said: “To say Sepp Blatter’s comments are

unhelpful is an understatement. They’re disbelieving. “He has no

understanding of what racism is, the ideology behind it, the damage

it causes and how it subjugates one group of people as inferior.

“Enlightened leadership at this level is needed. Minor matters on

the field often can be resolved with a handshake. Racism is not a

minor matter. “Kick It Out has no truck with the notion that racism

can be dismissed and trivialised in this way.” Preston defender

Clarke Carlisle, the PFA chairman and a Kick It Out ambassador,

warned that Blatter’s comments run the risk of undermining years of

work aimed at eradicating racism from the game. “We’ve come through

some 20 or 30 years of campaigning to bring racism to the height of

awareness that it is at the moment,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “To

come so far on such a sensitive topic, [yet] in one fell swoop he

can almost give carte blanche that racism is acceptable between the

hours of 3pm and 4.45pm on a Saturday.” The 20 Premier League clubs

released a statement on the issue following a meeting of club

chairmen today. The statement said: “The English game has been at

the forefront of tackling racist behaviour and other forms of

discrimination. “Everybody in the game in England understands any

form of racism is totally unacceptable. “There are still issues, as

there are in society, so with our partners, Kick It Out, the PFA

and the FA, we must remain committed and vigilant to maintaining

the standards we have set and confronting any incidents that

occur.” Stoke boss Tony Pulis was another manager amazed by what

Blatter had come out with. Pulis said: “I think one thing it proves

is that he is miles away from what is actually happening in

football and in the world. I’m amazed that he has come out with the

comments, but the big question is who is actually going to take him

to task.” Former Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace striker

Mark Bright warned that the effects of the comments could be felt

throughout football. Bright said: “This is what Blatter is saying:

at Hackney Marshes on Sunday morning you can say whatever you want

to your opponent, whatever race, creed or colour he is, and at the

end of the game when you shake hands it should be all forgotten –

go to the bar and have a drink. Those days are over. It’s an

old-fashioned view, it’s archaic, it’s illegal.”