| 5.4°C Dublin

Hughton: Sepp is way offside

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton, one of only two black managers in the English professional game along with Charlton's Chris Powell, has expressed his concern at the comments on racism by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Former Republic of Ireland international Hughton, who was today appointed to the management committee of the League Managers' Association, has also described as unacceptable comments by Blatter in which he was reported to have said a player who racially abuses another player on the field should settle their dispute with a handshake.

Blatter's comments, from two TV interviews, have led to a stream of criticism and calls for him to resign his post at the sport's governing body.

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 that he's made.

"They are totally unacceptable and I think most of the comments (about what Blatter said) I've heard very much agree with that."

Hughton praised the work of anti-racism groups and the strides made to eradicate the problem from the professional game in England.

"And at a time now 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," he said.

"For the top person in world football to make the comments that he has done is totally unacceptable."

Hughton also rejected the idea that incidents of racism could be settled by a handshake between the players involved.

He added: "It can't be dealt with a handshake because it is unacceptable."

Hughton also pointed to the number of public gaffes by Blatter in recent years when he has had to apologise for comments relating to homosexuality and women in football, among other subjects.

Hughton said: "What does concern me is that you have the head of our (world governing) organisation who has probably had, over the last however many years, made comments and had to perhaps make apologies on four, five or six occasions.

"Of course, he almost seems untouchable. So I think that is a big concern for me, that someone in such a massively important position is able to (make such comments) and with almost no recourse."


Privacy