Blatter Apologizes for Racist Comments, Won't QuitSports | November 18, 2011, Friday // 19:16| views
"When you have done something which was not totally correct, I can only say I am sorry for all those people affected by my declarations," Blatter told BBC. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Sepp Blatter has told the BBC he is sorry for causing offence with his controversial comments on racism, but sees no reason to quit.
The FIFA president appeared to suggest on Wednesday that racial discrimination could be settled with a handshake.
"It hurts and I am still hurting because I couldn't envisage such a reaction," said the 75-year-old Swiss.
"When you have done something which was not totally correct, I can only say I am sorry for all those people affected by my declarations."
Blatter insisted his "fight against racism and discrimination will go on" and said he would not resign, despite calls for him to quit by numerous British players, managers, administrators and politicians.
"I cannot resign," he told BBC sports editor David Bond in an exclusive interview. "Why should I?
"When you are faced with a problem you have to face the problem. To leave would be totally unfair and not compatible with my fighting spirit, my character, my energy."
Blatter admitted his comments had caused a "serious incident" and that he had used "unfortunate words" which he "deeply regretted".
He also said any players found guilty of racism on the pitch should be thrown out of the game.
"Zero tolerance," he said. "This was a good lesson for me as well."
Blatter's comments about racism, made earlier in the week, caused consternation in England.
Leading figures in the world of soccer, including superstar David Beckham, on Thursday blasted FIFA President Sepp Blatter for controversial remarks he made on racism in an interview with CNN World Sport.
The head of world football told CNN's Pedro Pinto there is no on-field racism in football and that any player who has been abused should simply shake hands with his opponent at the end of the match and move on.
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand, a former England captain, expressed his outrage on Twitter, blasting Blatter's comments as "so condescending it's almost laughable."
"I think the remarks were appalling, personally," Beckham said in an interview with CNN's Paul Vercammen. "All I care about is keeping racism out of soccer and out of sport. Because it's not just in sports it's in life in general. So it has to be stopped and we're part of that."
Beckham, who plays in the United States for LA Galaxy, said something should be done, but he stopped short of saying Blatter should step down.
We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!