By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger wants zero tolerance of racism in football - on and off the pitch.

The issue has been high on the agenda in recent weeks following alleged incidents involving Premier League players and FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been in the news after suggesting that racial discrimination could be settled with a handshake.

Blatter has since apologised for causing offence and Wenger was asked for his thoughts on the matter when he faced the media on Friday morning.

"I didn't really see all the comments but what I will say is that I am against any discrimination," he replied. "I am for zero tolerance, on the pitch and off the pitch. In the stands and off the pitch. There is still a lot of work to do in England on that front."

Wenger has praised English football in the past for its efforts to combat racism and Arsenal's diversity was recently recognised by the Kick It Out campaign in becoming the first club to achieve the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard. The Frenchman has seen progress in his own country too.

"They take it [racism] seriously as well because we have a multi-ethnic society in France as in England," said Wenger.

"In countries where you have a lot of immigration, the problem is tackled a bit more seriously than in the other countries and rightly so. Overall, I think England is taking the right steps and is doing well on that front but there is still some work to do.

"Racist comments are unacceptable and any discrimination is unacceptable. Sport has a fantastic chance and a fantastic opportunity. Football is a worldwide sport watched all over the world and we have a massive responsibility in that."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
18 Nov 2011