Good news, everybody! FIFA president Sepp Blatter has announced that "there is no racism"! We did it! The awfulness of hating others for superficial reasons is finally over! Except it's not and it's just Sepp running his big buffoon mouth again.
When asked about recent incidents of suspected racial taunts being used by footballers at the highest level, Blatter told CNN (via the Let's Kick Racism Out of Football campaign's official site):
"I would deny it. There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one, but also the one who is effected by that, he should say that this is a game.
"We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination. I think the whole world is aware of the efforts we are making against racism and discrimination.
"And, on the field of play sometimes you say something that is not very correct, but then at the end of the game, the game is over and you have the next game where you can behave better."
Completely stupid? Yes, it's completely stupid. Keep in mind, though, that this is the same ignoramus who made light of the persecution of homosexuals in 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar and suggested female footballers wear tighter shorts. So Blatter is clearly just working through some kind of politically incorrect bingo card and hoping the general public doesn't throw him into the ocean before he can finish.
Meanwhile, The FA has officially charged Liverpool's Luis Suarez for allegedly using racial taunts against Man United's Patrice Evra in October. It's unlikely they'll let him resolve it with a handshake.
UPDATE: Blatter has released a statement through FIFA's website to clarify (read: lie about) his earlier comments. Here it is, in full...
I would like to make it very clear, I am committed to the fight against racism and any type of discrimination in football and in society. I have been personally leading this battle against racism in football, which FIFA has been fighting against throughout the past years through campaigns in all of our competitions such as the "Say no to racism" campaign.
I also know that racism unfortunately continues to exist in football, and I have never denied this. I know that it is a big problem in society, and that it also affects sport. I strongly believe that we should continue to fight all together against racism on and off the field of play, in order to eradicate this plague.
My comments have been misunderstood. What I wanted to express is that, as football players, during a match, you have "battles" with your opponents, and sometimes things are done which are wrong. But, normally, at the end of the match, you apologise to your opponent if you had a confrontation during the match, you shake hands, and when the game is over, it is over. Anyone who has played a football match, or a match in any sport, knows that this is the case.
Having said that, I want to stress again that I do not want to diminish the dimension of the problem of racism in society and in sport. I am committed to fighting this plague and kicking it out of football.
Emphasis added to highlight his double talk. "I have never denied that racism exists in football...except when I just did about an hour ago." Also, he doesn't want to diminish the problem, but he does want to make excuses for when players say racist things to each other during a match, which he apparently thinks is a perfectly reasonable thing to do during any sporting event.
Glad we cleared that up.