Former England captain David Beckham has condemned Sepp Blatter’s comments on racism as “appalling” and a backward step for football.
Blatter has come under fire in the past 48 hours after claiming in two television interviews that racism on the pitch could be settled with a post-match handshake.
The FIFA president has since claimed his comments were misunderstood but Beckham believes they have served to undermine the work done to stamp racism out of football.
“The comments were appalling. A lot people have said that,” Beckham said at an LA Galaxy press conference.
“I don’t think that the comments were very good for this game.
“There obviously is, and has been, racism throughout soccer and in life over the last few years.
“I do think, especially being around the England team and being around the FA - the FA do a lot of work in kicking racism out of the game.
“They’ve have made huge strides in the past 10-15 years - but it is still there.”
Beckham also hit out at Blatter’s assertion that a handshake at the end of a match was enough to forgive any racist remarks on the pitch.
“It can’t be swept under the carpet, it can’t be sorted out with a handshake,” he said.
“That’s not the way of the world and that’s not how racism should be treated.
“It’s out there and we have to keep working hard to keep in out of the game and life in general.
“Racism is something we want to keep out of sport but also life in general.”