English Premiership

Hughes wants handshake ban

2012-09-16 13:25
Mark Hughes (File)

London - Mark Hughes called for an end to the pre-match handshake after Anton Ferdinand snubbed John Terry and Ashley Cole ahead of QPR's 0-0 draw against Chelsea.

The decision to go ahead with the handshake had been taken by the English Premier League before the match despite the rift that dates back to last October when Chelsea captain Terry was accused of racially abusing QPR centre-back Ferdinand.

England defender Terry has been cleared of criminal charges relating to the matter but still faces a Football Association charge in connection with the incident.

The fractured relationship between the players was clear to see at Loftus Road on Saturday when Ferdinand ignored Terry and Cole, who appeared as a character witness in court for his club captain, while Ferdinand's team-mate Park Ji-Sung also rejected Terry's hand.

Hughes believes the ugly pre-match events reinforce the view that it is time to abandon the traditional greeting.

"You can't get too misty-eyed about the old days and how it used to be, a lot of things have moved on for the better. But I'm not sure about this," Hughes said.

"I've got the utmost respect for the FA's 'Respect' campaign and I think it has done great work, it's something that should be embraced and we all do at QPR.

"But I just think this element of the campaign is something that causes more problems than it solves and I don't think that was the intention when it was introduced.

"We've been talking about it for God knows how long. I think it's done and dusted now. It's something and nothing in my view.

"I thought the game was what was important today and thankfully it was played in good spirit."

Hughes admitted it was left to the players themselves to decide on their actions.

"They had the discussion and I was made aware that some were prepared to shake hands and some weren't," Hughes said.

"I didn't know which individuals and I wasn't going to push the point. It was a personal decision for each and every one of them."

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo was anxious to move on from the matter but he was pleased with the way Terry and the rest of his team maintained their focus during the scoreless draw.

"We offered (to shake hands) and we have done our part and if other people feel differently that's not our problem," Di Matteo said.

"Our players didn't have a problem with the focus. They were very concentrated and on another day we could have scored. We handled it very well, our players were very professional."

Terry appeared to be struggling with a knee problem at the end of the match, but Di Matteo expects the defender to be fit for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Juventus.

"We have to assess the players but it doesn't look like we have any major problems," Di Matteo added. "It was a tough battle for everybody, there were plenty of knocks.

"We'll assess it tomorrow morning and then shift our attention to Wednesday."

Meanwhile, Hughes was concerned striker Andrew Johnson may have suffered a more serious injury.

"We are going to get him scanned. It was something in his knee. We hope he is going to okay," Hughes said.

"It could be something more serious but we hope it's not so that's a negative on the day."

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