Embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter apologised for his comments about racism on Friday as British media called for the Swiss to resign.

It hurts and I am still hurting because I couldn't envisage such a reaction, the 75-year-old said in a BBC interview.

When you have done something which was not totally correct, I can only say I am sorry for all those people affected by my declarations.

Blatter sparked outrage when he suggested on Wednesday that incidents of racist abuse on the pitch should be settled with a handshake after the game.

However, he said he would not resign over the comments that were criticised by players such as England defender Rio Ferdinand, former captain David Beckham and Prime Minister David Cameron.

I cannot resign, he said. Why should I?

When you are faced with a problem you have to face the problem. To leave would be totally unfair and not compatible with my fighting spirit, my character, my energy.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by John O'Brien)