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Rio blasts Blatter as FIFA boss responds

RIO FERDINAND launched a direct attack on Sepp Blatter for his comments on racism as the FIFA president desperately tried to backtrack.

In two separate television interviews Blatter said racism on the pitch was not a problem and that racist abuse between players should be settled by a handshake.

The 75-year-old later claimed he had been misunderstood but he had already provoked a furious backlash.

Ferdinand (pictured) contacted Blatter's Twitter account directly, writing: "@SeppBlatter your comments on racism are so condescending its almost laughable. If fans shout racist chants but shake our hands is that ok?" He also wrote: "Tell me I have just read Sepp Blatter's comments on racism in football wrong... if not then I am astonished.

"I feel stupid for thinking that football was taking a leading role against racism...it seems it was just on mute for a while.

"Just for clarity if a player abuses a referee, does a shake of the hand after the game wipe the slate clean??"

Asked if racism was a problem on the pitch, Blatter had earlier told CNN World Sport: "I would deny it. There is no racism." He also said on Al Jazeera: "During a match you may say something to someone who's not looking exactly like you, but at end of match it's forgotten."

Blatter attempted to douse the controversy with a statement on FIFA's website, in which he said: "My comments have been misunderstood. I am committed to fighting (racism)."