A man who yesterday shook hands with embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter has sought to downplay the significance of his actions and apologise for any offence he may have caused.
‘It was never my intention to offend anyone, and I apologise if in observing everyday custom and shaking hands with Mr Blatter that is what I have inadvertently done,’ said the man. ‘I would like to make it clear that I am 100% committed to eradicating intolerance, corruption and stupidity from international football administration, but maybe sometimes there is a word or a handshake which isn’t correct. My view is that if two people have a falling out about who you should shake hands with, they should just agree to put those differences aside and shake hands.’
This not the first time the man in question has got himself into trouble for a public gaffe. In 2004 he said that women ought to wear ‘tighter clothes’ when tolerating inappropriate remarks by football administrators in order to raise the popularity of the sport among men. One tabloid newspaper has also claimed that cowardly handshaking may be in the man’s DNA, but records have since proved that he is not descended from Neville Chamberlain.
‘Acceptance of bigotry is not an issue that can just be swept under the carpet,’ said the man today. ‘It’s far more effective just to pretend it never happened. But I admit I made a mistake, and when you have done something which is not totally correct then all you can do is offer a heartfelt apology and hope not to get caught next time.’
The man has insisted that he will not resign from his role as armchair critic of FIFA, but has instituted a pre-emptive zero-tolerance approach to future misjudged handshakes by chopping off his own hands. ‘It might seem a bit drastic, but Sepp Blatter said it would have happened anyway if I’d been caught having a drink during the 2018 World Cup in Qatar.’