Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taylor: It's Time to Quit, Blatter

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Taylor: It's Time to Quit, Blatter

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley Chief Football Correspondent

SEPP BLATTER was desperately trying to justify his comments on racism today as the calls for him to resign intensified.

Gordon Taylor said the president of FIFA had no option but to stand down in the wake of his outrageous claim that racism on the pitch could be settled by a handshake after the match.

The chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association said: "He's the leader of world football, he has to be a leader in anti-racism. Racism is divisive and for him to say the player on the receiving end should forget about it at the end of the game and shake hands -- we are going backwards -- it is not good enough, it's embarrassing.

"Coming on top of his comments which were offensive about female footballers, his homophobic comments about homosexuals not going to Qatar, the World Cup bidding process, the fact he won't have technology over goalline decisions and the corruption which is so plainly evident at FIFA, it is time for him to go.

"He has presided over a lot of issues which haven't been good enough. If he is the leader of world football I'm not going to be a follower and I can't believe anyone could follow him. It can't be acceptable and I believe it is the straw which broke the camel's back. He should step aside so we can see what Michel Platini can do."

Blatter's term runs until 2015 and a source among FIFA's executive suggested today that UEFA's president does not want to take over until the Swiss has carried through corruption reforms. "Platini will succeed Blatter but does not want it now," said the source.

Rio Ferdinand used Twitter to send Blatter a message branding his stance "condescending and almost laughable". He wrote: "I feel stupid for thinking football was taking a lead against racism. It seems it was just on mute for a while. …

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