A perfunctory Google search proves conclusively that Sepp Blatter is, in fact, Lord of the Idiots. And perhaps, much like George Costanza he has decided that anything he has done up until this point was wrong and so he is now taking the opposite approach.
Let’s start with racism. What did Sepp Blatter think of racism a little over a year ago? He called upon FIFA to stamp racism out:
Football is a mirror of our society and is touched by its vices. Violence, cheating, doping, betting, discrimination and racism, these are all in our game. We have started to eliminate them, one is practically eliminated — this is doping. But here in this World Cup in South Africa, and specifically through this Congress, we declare we are against discrimination. Never, never again should we have any problems on any football field or in a stadium concerning discrimination or racism. If we are not able to do that through this 60th FIFA Congress, then we never will. We must end discrimination and racism.
Here here Sepp! It takes a brave man to admit that racism exists in modern football. I was subjected to much abuse for suggesting that a song about an African man’s father washing elephants was racist. So to hear the head of FIFA admit that there is a problem in world football with racism is refreshing.
Not only that but to state definitively that he wants to end racism in football is a massive task and one that FIFA should be proud of. Never, never again as he said, indeed.
That was 17 months ago. Never, never again would a player be allowed to call another player a “fucking black cunt” on the pitch. Yes! Never, never again would Barcelona’s racist supporters be allowed to make monkey chants at opposition players because they are slightly more dark skinned than Sergio Busquets. Yes! Preach it Sepp!
And now here we are with no less than 4 players (off the top of my head) who have accused others of racially abusing them and Sepp Blatter springs into action and issues a definitive statement:
But also the player who is affected by racism, 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.
What happened to “never, never again?” How did that clarion call to end racism become “shake hands with racism?”
Perhaps it’s because FIFA isn’t really interested in ending racism and Sepp Blatter isn’t really a champion of justice? Maybe that’s why Russia, with clubs like Zenit St. Petersburg who are openly racist and where incidents of banana throwing are still happening to greats like Roberto Carlos, won the World Cup bid?
Perhaps Sepp would recommend that Roberto Carlos simply get on with the game and after the final whistle, maybe the Brazilian should seek out the banana lobber and shake his hand?
Or maybe Roberto Carlos could give the guy a shirt? This has to be the next logical step in FIFA’s “pretend racism doesn’t exist” initiative: the “swap shirts with racism” campaign will be a huge success. It has to be, because everything that FIFA has tried up until now has failed.
Ergo, Sepp Blatter has decided to try The Opposite: shake hands with racism.