David Beckham has labelled FIFA president Sepp Blatter's comments on racism as 'appalling' and a backward step for football.
The supremo of world football's governing body has come under intense criticism over the past 48 hours following his blasé views on racism, having stated that any in-game infringements could be settled by a post-match handshake.
Blatter immediately backtracked, stating his quotes were misunderstood, however, that has failed to quell a backlash from many in the game.
Beckham has now joined the ongoing debate, stating the remarks were 'appalling' and that racism remains in the game despite immense strides over the years.
"The comments were appalling," commented Beckham. "A lot people have said that.
"I don't think that the comments were very good for this game.
"There obviously is, and has been, racism throughout soccer and in life over the last few years.
"I do think, especially being around the England team and being around the FA - the FA do a lot of work in kicking racism out of the game.
"They've have made huge strides in the past 10-15 years - but it is still there."
Beckham also hit out at Blatter's assertion that a handshake at the end of a match was enough to forgive any racist remarks on the pitch.
"It can't be swept under the carpet, it can't be sorted out with a handshake," he said.
"That's not the way of the world and that's not how racism should be treated.
"It's out there and we have to keep working hard to keep in out of the game and life in general.
"Racism is something we want to keep out of sport but also life in general."
Does Sepp Blatter have a future as Fifa president after his comments on racism?