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SEPP Blatter has long been rivalled only by Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi for the title greatest buffoon on the international stage, but his latest comments are far more sinister than foolish.

To suggest racism on the football field is little more than heat of the moment words, and should be settled with a handshake at the end of the match, betrays an underlying belief that racism is acceptable.

It is not. The efforts of a courageous few battled for years in this country to tackle the widespread abuse that was common at games up and down the country decades ago. While there is never a time to be complacent, we have now reached a stage where racist behaviour is a rare sight at our football grounds.

Yet that is not the same in many parts of the world. It was only six years ago this month that England’s black players were racially abused during a match against Spain in Madrid, and, typically, Fifa’s response was a paltry fine.

It is time for change, time for football to have the leadership that Fifa fails so miserably to provide. Blatter, the man governing one of the most corrupt sporting bodies in the world, must stand down.