Blatter's shocking view that on-pitch racism does not exist, and that racial abuse between players during
games can, and should, be shrugged off with a post-match handshake has caused
outrage in the world of football, and dismay among anti-racism campaigners.
the FIFA president bring himself to say sorry? Well, while he did say "I am sorry for all those people affected by my declarations," he
categorically refused to retract his view, or even admit that he was wrong to
deny the existence of on-pitch racism.
He did not apologise for his declarations - only the fact that some unfortunate souls were sensitive enough to take offence.
genuinely seems not to understand what the fuss is about. "I cannot
resign. Why should I?" he said.
With that sort of approach to those at the top taking responsibility, he should apply for a job at News International.
is far from the first sporting figure who has refused to put his hands up and accept blame. We take a look at the top 10 unrepentant so-and-sos in sport.
- - - -
famous handball in football's history happened as England were taking on
Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and were doing
well in front of 114,000 people at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico.
goalless first half Bobby Robson's side were holding their own, and in with a
real chance of advancing to the semi-finals before seven minutes into the
second period Diego Maradona leapt above Peter Shilton and palmed the ball into
the England net.
Bin Nasser claimed that a haemorrhoid treatment had impaired his vision,
causing him to miss the handball.
missed what happened just four minutes later, however: the little Argentine left five England players
trailing in his wake before scoring the greatest goal in the history of the
game. England pulled one back to make it 2-1 with 10 minutes left, but the
handball proved decisive.
the World Cup's worst ever goal, then its best ever goal, he finished up his
work for the day with the World Cup's most famous quote of all time as he
insisted that the handball goal had been scored with "a little bit of the
head of Maradona and another bit of the hand of God".
Peter De Villiers
coach Peter De Villiers left the entire world of sport open-mouthed in
astonishment for defending Schalk Burger for the eye gouging incident which saw
him sin-binned during the second Test against the Lions on the 2009 tour.
going to win rugby matches in the boardroom or in front of the cameras then we
might as well close shop, go to the nearest ballet shop and buy some nice
tutus," the South African told the world, adding that he didn't believe
the incident even merited a card let alone an eight-week ban for the
was subsequently forced to issue an apology, claiming that he never meant to
condone foul play - but his burst of brutal honesty still earns him a place in
the history books as one of the least repentant sportspeople the world has
were defeated in their World Cup qualifier against France in Paris courtesy of a handball that threatened to rival Maradona for sheer infamy.
had lost the first leg in Dublin thanks to Nicolas Anelka's solitary goal, but
Robbie Keane's 32nd-minute strike had levelled the tie and sent the teams to
extra time to decide who would take part in the World Cup.
decision was effectively taken when Thierry Henry handled close to the
byline during the first half of extra-time, allowing him to slip the ball
across to William Gallas to score the winner from point-blank range.
Arsenal striker admitted to the handball (two actually - one to stop the ball, one to bring it back into play) after the game, but failed to
apologise for having cheated his way to South Africa and insisted that the
fault lay with the referee.
will be honest, it was a handball. But I'm not the ref," he said. "I
played it, the ref allowed it. That's a question you should ask him."
fans were left smiling the next summer, however, as the French came home with
their tails between their legs after a miserable showing at the tournament amid
infighting in the camp.
President looked certain to be leaving his post in 2008 when the now-defunct News
of the World ran a front-page story showing Mosley taking part in a sex orgy
with prostitutes, in which many of the protagonists wore military
son of 1930s British fascist party leader Oswald Mosley, successfully sued for
libel over the paper's false claims that there was a Nazi theme to evening.
enormous pressure from around the world and many calling for him to step down -
including Jackie Stewart and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone - Mosley clung to his
post, winning a vote of confidence at the FIA.
He then took
things one stage further, recasting himself as a crusader for privacy rights in
the face of tabloid scrutiny. He lost a case at the European Court of
Human Rights earlier this year that would have obliged papers to warn people before publishing stories about their private lives.
Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds
1927 record of 60 home runs in a season was one of American sport's most-treasured
records. When Roger Maris beat it by a single run 34 years later, the new
record seemed just as unlikely ever to be beaten.
McGwire (pictured) managed to do exactly that, however, there was a distinct unease,
because hanging over McGwire's achievement was the spectre of steroid use
Louis Cardinals slugger has never publicly admitted to taking steroids - though
he has admitted to taking androstenedione, a drug which increases testosterone
levels and is used as a precursor to anabolic steroids.
At the time there was no drug testing regime in MLB, but accusations continued to follow the
player. When called before a 2005 government committee investigating drug use
in baseball, McGwire flat-out refused to answer any questions.
me or any other player to answer questions about who took steroids in front of
television cameras will not solve the problem," he said. "If a player
answers 'no,' he simply will not be believed."
Barry Bonds established a new record of 73 home runs, helped on his way by a
larger physique which he attributed to diet and exercise.
later Bonds was caught up in the BALCO scandal when his trainer Greg Anderson
was indicted for supplying anabolic steroids to athletes. A subsequent deal
struck by BALCO defendants with prosecutors means that the athletes involved
will now not be named.
indicted for several offences, and convicted of obstruction of justice in April 2011, for which he will be
sentenced in December. He is also set to face perjury charges, but has still never
admitted to taking - or tested positive for - any form of performance-enhancing
Luis Suarez and Uruguay
Maradona and Thierry Henry's infamous handballs against England and Ireland
respectively are the most famous handballs in the game, yet for sheer cyncism and
unbeatable chutzpah, Luis Suarez's handball for Uruguay against Ghana at the
2010 World Cup tops them both.
drama came right at the end of extra-time with the scores locked at 1-1, when Uruguay
striker Suarez used his arms - both of them - to save a goalbound Dominic Adiyiah header.
Referee Olegario Benquerenca was given no choice but to award a penalty and send
Asamoah Gyan, with two penalties to his name already in the
tournament, had the chance to win it with the last kick of the game... but hit
the bar, justifying Suarez's sacrifice. Ghana lost on penalties, and just to
rub it in the Uruguayans carried Suarez shoulder-high around the pitch by the
Uruguay team in one of the most galling laps of honour ever seen in sport.
However, it would be
wrong to put this alongside Maradona's Hand of God or Henry's Hand of
Frog. Theirs were acts of deception that went unpunished - Suarez merely did
what he had to do, took his medicine, and never looked back.
just one of life's born charmers. Who can forget, for example, his early exit
from Ireland's World Cup squad in 2002, when he gave manager Mick McCarthy the
following sentimental, rosy-eyed message:
didn't rate you as a player, I don't rate you as a manager, and I don't rate
you as a person. You're a f****** w***** and you can stick your World Cup up
your a***. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are
the manager of my country! You can stick it up your b******s."
But it was
his clashes with Alf-Inge Haaland which showed him at his most uncompromising. Haaland had tackled
Keane badly back in 1997, then rubbed salt in the wound - and the nine-month
recuperation - by standing over the Irishman post-tackle and shouting at him
for feigning injury.
taking the old adage about revenge being 'a dish best served cold' to heart,
waited four years before taking retribution, doing so with a knee-high
challenge that saw him sent off instantly.
his autobiography, Keane was almost gleeful in his description of the revenge.
"I'd waited long enough. I f***ing hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you **** ... My attitude was, f*** him. What
goes around comes around. He got his just rewards. He f***** me over and my
attitude is an eye for an eye."
retired through an injury in the other knee the year after.
Superbrat claims in his autobiography - a great read, by the way - that he grew
up as one of the politest, most respectful tennis players he knew.
last long once he got out on the professional circuit, and quickly made himself
famous for having one of the loudest and dirtiest mouths in the sport.
Wimbledon semi-final at Wimbledon in 1980 saw him earn the distinction of being
the first player booed on court at a Grand Slam final, while the press gave
him the nickname Superbrat for his habit of tearing strips off umpires.
years after the end of his career, McEnroe was completely unrepentant.
they made thousands of bad calls," he said in 1996. "That's not the
point. The point is that they should have just simply admitted the
unrepentant moment of all, though, was when he refused to attend the
traditional Champions Dinner after his first Wimbledon win in 1981.
wanted to spend the evening with my family and friends and the people who had
supported me," he said, "not a bunch of stiffs who are 70-80 years
old, telling you that you're acting like a jerk."
The International Olympic Commmittee
In 1988 Roy
Jones Jr came to the Seoul Olympics as one of the USA's top medal hopes in the
boxing, and cruised through to the gold medal bout without losing a single
there he had Korean opponent Park Si-Hun on the ropes throughout, landing a
total of 86 punches to Park's 32 during an absurdly one-sided bout.
however, the judges decided that the local man had done enough to win the bout,
and awarded Park the gold.
decision caused widespread astonishment and outrage - but not to the judges,
and Korean officials who had wined and dined them.
One of the
judges admitted that a mistake had been made, Park even reportedly apologised
to Jones, and a new scoring system was instigated following the outrageous
And yet the
IOC refuses to acknowledge that anything untoward took place, and the decision
still stands - despite the fact Jones won the Val Barker trophy in 1988,
awarded to the best overall boxer of the Games.
on to become one of the best pound-for-pound boxers the sport has seen, holding
world titles in various weights from middle to light heavyweight. He was also
named 'fighter of the decade' for the 1990s by the American boxing writers'
lack of his gold medal still rankles, and he remains hopeful that the decision
will one day be overturned.
He might be
the greatest Formula One driver of all time, but he didn't get to where he is
without learning how to trample over the hopes of others.
at the season-ending Australian Grand Prix in 1994, Schumacher led Britain's
Damon Hill by a single point - but with Hill having won four of the previous
five races, he was the man with momentum.
It was the
German who got off to the better start, however, taking pole position and
leading the race until the 36th lap. But after hitting a wall on the Adelaide
street circuit it seemed likely that he'd damaged his car and continued to
drive at a much reduced pace.
the way clear for second-placed Damon Hill to overtake and win the title. But
as the British driver overtook on the inside, the German turned in sharply and
the two cars collided. The damage was sufficient to put both drivers out of the
apparently blatant cynicism of the manoeuvre, Schumacher denied having caused
the crash on purpose - leaving race stewards little choice but to give the
German the benefit of the doubt, and in doing so hand him his first world
Not a bit. Schumacher denied everything with the stony-eyed resilience of a
champion poker player - though some feel that he removed all doubt of his guilt
when attempting an identical trick in the final race of the 1997 season.
the European Grand Prix at Jerez, Schumacher again held a narrow lead going
into the final race of the season, this time with Canadian Jacques Villeneuve
in second spot.
led until lap 48, but Villeneuve had superior pace and when the Canadian
overtook, the German simply drove into his opponent's car.
however, Schumacher's car was the only casualty: Villeneuve was able to
continue, limping home in fourth place to win the title. A subsequent tribunal
in any case disqualified the German from the championship for his transparent
attempt to take a superior car out of the running.