So in these delicate times, FIFA President Sepp Blatter hardly covered himself in glory when he suggested that players who are racially abused by other players on the pitch should be able to resolve it with a simple handshake after the game. Combined with the way FIFA comes down on clubs whose supporters are responsible for racist behaviour - either ignoring it completely or giving them a light slap on the wrist - it all adds up to a administrative body that is completely out of touch.
Man U's Rio Ferdinand (brother of the aforementioned Anton), who is not normally known for saying anything particularly intelligent, tweeted in response:
"I feel stupid for thinking that football was taking a leading role against racism.....it seems it was just on mute for a while."
"Just for clarity if a player abuses a referee, does a shake of the hand after the game wipe the slate clean??"
While Arsenal's young combative midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong tweeted the cruder but funnier:
"If Blatter Ever Come to Arsenal am Gna Frimpong Him"
statement saying he was misunderstood, and attaching to it a photo of him hugging a black man for good measure. (The particular man is a prominent South African politician, the awesomely-named Tokyo Sexwale.) It is the photographic equivalent of the classic response to accusations of racism - telling everyone that you have black friends. Because everyone knows that if you have even one black friend, you are automatically deemed free from racial prejudice.
Meanwhile, former Uruguayan international and now coach of Brighton, Gus Poyet (below), stuck up for his under-fire countryman Suarez.
"I believe Luis Suarez, it's simple. I played football for seven years in Spain and was called everything because I was from South America. I never went out crying like a baby, like Patrice Evra, saying that someone said something to me."Now, I don't really know what nasty names white Spanish people call white South Americans, but I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that they are probably not quite as nasty as what white people call black people. And they probably don't have quite the same historical context to them.