Saturday 20 January 2018

Blatter apologises but refuses to quit


Sepp Blatter said yesterday that he is sorry for causing offence with his controversial comments on racism, but won't contemplate resigning.

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 and managers.

Meanwhile, six officials -- all from the Caribbean -- have been banned by Fifa for their roles in a bribery scandal.

The punishments are the fall-out from the case that saw ex-FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam banned for life for attempted bribery. The suspensions, of between seven days and two years, have been imposed for breaching ethics rules.


Ireland have failed in their bid to qualify for the next Women's World Cup finals in India.

Defeat by Bangladesh yesterday in Dhaka, their third in four group games, condemned them to fourth place in their group with only Japan below them.

Ireland were dismissed for just 114, in reply to the hosts' 209-7, as from 38-2, the Tigers recovered to 172-3 before some suicidal running restricted their progress to 37 in the last eight overs.

After Clare Shillington got her second golden duck of the week, Cecilia Joyce and Jill Whelan added 68 for the second wicket but that was Ireland's high-point as 16-year- old Khadiza-Tul Kubra ripped through the batting to finish with 6-32.

Coach Jeremy Bray admitted: "There were a number of things that went wrong -- I don't think we bowled well enough as a side, nor did we field well, not nearly as well as we can.

"The team haven't played overseas for a while but we've been found out against good quality spin here in Dhaka."

The squad now have six days off before they return to action on Thursday for the first of their two 5th/8th place play-off games.


Former world-record holder Haile Gebrselassie will run in February's Tokyo Marathon as he looks to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

The 38-year-old Ethiopian, whose world best was shattered by Kenyan Patrick Makau in Berlin in September, pulled out of Tokyo last year after falling on a practice run.

The four-time world and twice Olympic champion at 10,000m returned to form with victory at a half marathon in Birmingham last month after dropping out of the Berlin Marathon with asthma trouble as Makau raced away.

Irish Independent

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