Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he has been left shocked by the allegations of racism in the Premier League in recent weeks.
United left-back Patrice Evra is at the centre of a row with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, while Anton Ferdinand was allegedly the victim of racist slur by John Terry last weekend.
The English FA are investigating both incidents but Ferguson cannot believe racism is still an issue in the 21st century.
“There’s no doubt in my mind what happened at Anfield with Patrice but it’s the FA’s responsibility to sort it out,” Ferguson said.
“We spoke to them a few days ago, they are doing their work and we will leave the matter in their hands. But I’m very surprised that this sort of thing is happening now.
“I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence that two cases are going on, let’s hope we don’t get three, but this is 2011, for goodness sake.
“I can’t believe there is any sort of issue over race in the game given the number of black players who take part. It’s such a rare, rare occurrence for this sort of thing to surface.
“I can’t even remember the last time allegations of this sort were levelled against a player.”
Ferguson believes the game is lucky to have such a diverse mix of nationalities playing it and he is adamant the rise in overseas players has been one of the most important changes during his long reign at Old Trafford.
“Everyone knows the contribution black players have made to modern day football, and have been doing for many years, so it’s surprising to have this happening now,” he said.
“Just within our own club we have had some fantastic players with great personalities, and we’ve been very lucky to have them.
“That’s the biggest thing that’s changed in the game in my 25 years.
“All we dealt with back then were English players, or British players at least. It has been a great challenge for me, and for other managers, to deal with all the different cultures and nationalities you find in football now.”