Blatter sorry about remarks – but not enough to resign

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter issued an apology for his remarks on racism accompanied by an insistence he would not resign – and an admonishment from the Football Association that his initial comments had been “irresponsible”.

Blatter, 75, backtracked on statements made in interviews earlier this week that incidents of racist abuse on the pitch should be settled by a handshake between the players concerned.The FIFA president has now admitted that his comments had caused a “serious incident” and that he had used “unfortunate words” which he “deeply regretted”.

Blatter told BBC Sport: “I am sorry and I regret that my statements earlier this week have resulted in an unfortunate situation. I am committed to the fight against racism and I will not stop until I have stamped out racism in football.”

Blatter was adamant however, that he would not resign. “I cannot resign,” he said. “When you are faced with a problem you have to solve the problem. To leave the organisation would be totally unfair and is not compatible with my fighting spirit.”