The comment by Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, that that there is no problem with racism in football has provoked intense backlash from anti-racism campaigners and players.

Asked if he thought there was racism on the football pitch, Blatter said he would deny it.

There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one. But also the one who is affected by that, he should say that this is a game, he told CNN World Sport.

Blatter later tried to clarify his comments. I am committed to fighting this plague and kicking it out of football, he said. What I wanted to express is that, as football players, during a match, you have 'battles' with your opponents, and sometimes things are done which are wrong. But, normally, at the end of the match, you apologize to your opponent if you had a confrontation during the match, you shake hands, and when the game is over, it is over.

Downplaying one of football's biggest issues has resulted in angry comments in twitter.

Darren Byfield, an English-born professional footballer of Jamaican descent, wrote: 'Hey Sepp Blatter can u do me a favour please old man we are desperate 4 u 2 resign,so can u help us all out.

England defender Rio Ferdinand added: Is Sepp Blatter on twitter??? or is he too out of touch to know about it??