Found September 30, 2012 on O-Posts:

The FA’s respect campaign has been running for a long time now. And nothing is more apparent than in the pre-match handshakes between opposing players just before kick off.

Over the last few weeks this has taken center stage. In some matches you’d be forgiven for forgetting there was actually any football on show. From Anton Ferdinand not shaking John Terry’s and Ashley Cole’s hand and the will they/won’t they debate over the Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra handshake.

Is the pre-match handshake a load of rubbish, though? Is it right that the handshake is before the match wherein anything can happen – where the real player/referee respect should take place?

The idea behind the handshake is an admirable one. To show that football, despite it’s singular reality, can show respect in the same way that workers of the same profession/work place/friends and family units do. It is within this idea, however, that it is fundamentally flawed.

The handshake shouldn’t take place before a match – it may even be best to scrap it altogether. It appears to just be a clever facade masking a meaningless gimmick – something they grudgingly have to do – as when the players do eventually take the field, respect is as far from their mind as sex is to a chronic World of Warcraft player.

Every little petulant moment and self-indulgent whim is exposed on the field and players will do anything to help their team win the three points – imaginary card waving, diving, swearing at referees and fellow professionals, and in the case of John Terry, racist abuse toward a fellow professional.

And herein lies the problem. John Terry and Luis Suarez are the most high-profile cases which have really sparked this debate. Choosing when and who to shake hands with goes head-to-head with the point of the pre-match handshake; and The FA’s now much-maligned respect campaign.

Who can blame Anton Ferdinand, though? I certainly wouldn’t shake John Terry’s or Ashley Cole’s hand but quite why David Luiz refused to shake Ferdinand’s hand is quite beyond me. Solidarity with your teammate is one thing but solidarity with a racist? Surely he knows that Ferdinand is the victim in this. And Luis Suarez’s reputation now as a deceitful diver which is seeing legitimate penalty claims turned down.

Other sports, rougher more violent sports I hasten to add, promote respect as being paramount to its integrity. Take rugby and boxing where the object of the game is to knock seven shades of **** out of each other, but where after the game and after the fight, the respect between the opposition is apparent to see. And is lauded through-out the sporting world as being the sports to copy.

The rugby players form a ‘tunnel’ for the opposition to walk down while applauding and shaking their hands, while in boxing, after the winner has been announced, he celebrates by congratulating and hugging the losing fighter and the fighter’s corner before celebrating with his own.

The action on the football pitch proves that the pre-match handshake is completely meaningless. It should be scrapped and proves nothing between professionals, proves nothing to fans and doesn’t promote or advocate the idea of respect.

If the FA want to stumble blindly on promoting respect within football then maybe they could learn something from other sports.


Written by William Hold

Follow him on Twitter @liam17oi

Please like O-Posts on Facebook

You can follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts


Di Matteo defends Terry pick

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo says he feels vindicated over his decision to select John Terry for Chelsea's win at The Emirates on Saturday The former England captain was selected for his club two days after the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in the QPR v Chelsea match at Loftus Road in October 2011. Terry is waiting for the reasons behind the verdict...

John Terry: Taking it on the chin and marching on

“Maybe the difference in fine is, Terry is a champion of Europe, and Suarez is a Carling Cup Winner.” – Rick Glanvill (Chelsea FC Historian ) “The FA find John Terry guilty, and give him a 4 match ban and 220K fine. Just one game more than a regular red card?” – Gary Lineker Arsenal, Tottenham, Norwich and Manchester United are the teams Chelsea will face in the next...

Triesman: Black players let down

Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman believes black players feel let down by the governing body's handling of the John Terry racism case. Ex- England skipper Terry was found guilty of using racist language towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand by an independent FA panel earlier this week, but is awaiting the full written judgment before deciding whether to appeal...

RDM: Everybody makes mistakes

Roberto Di Matteo insists everyone deserves a second chance after John Terry was found guilty of using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand. Chelsea boss Di Matteo refused to comment specifically on the outcome of Terry's Football Association hearing when giving his reaction to it on Friday afternoon. But asked if he believed in second chances, he said: "Yes, I do....

Di Matteo praises ´leader´ Terry

Roberto Di Matteo praised John Terry’s ‘leadership qualities’ in the 2-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday. Terry’s inclusion in the...

Luis Suarez Ignites Liverpool Attack, Hat-Trick Hero Leads Reds to 5-2 Victory Over Norwich City

Lightning struck twice for Luis Suarez at Carrow Road as the Uruguayan once again terrorised Norwich with a scintillating hat-trick to help Liverpool to a 5-2 victory. Just as he was five months ago, the forward was simply unplayable, hammering home a variety of strikes, while Nuri Sahin and Steven Gerrard added their names to the scoresheet. As the teams lined up, the Norwich supporters...

Eriksson: Terry case handled badly

Sven-Goran Eriksson has leapt to the defence of Chelsea captain John Terry, saying the defender’s racial abuse case had been...

Suarez helps Liverpool get 1st win of season

Luis Suarez scored a hat trick Saturday as Liverpool earned its first win of the Premier League season with a 5-2 drubbing at Norwich to ease some of the pressure on new manager Brendan Rodgers. Suarez, who also netted a treble at Carrow Road in April, gave Liverpool a perfect start by scoring with a shot from the edge of the box after just 67 seconds, and added his second in the...

Rodgers fear over Suarez tag

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers fears Luis Suarez will struggle to shake his reputation as a diver after seeing him denied a penalty at Norwich. Suarez put in a dazzling performance at Norwich on Saturday, scoring three goals and setting up another in the Reds' 5-2 win at Carrow Road. But one thing tarnished Rodgers' first victory in charge - yet another refusal by the match...

Joe Allen Enjoys Playing With Steven Gerrard and Nuri Sahin, LFC Midfielder Also in Awe of Luis Suarez

Joe Allen feels privileged to be on the same side as Luis Suarez after watching the Uruguayan demolish Norwich at Carrow Road -- and the midfielder admits he is in awe of his Liverpool teammate. In recreating his feat of five months ago, Suarez became the first Reds player in history to net consecutive hat-tricks in the same away fixture. And Allen is relishing the prospect of the...

Steven Gerrard Says Luis Suarez Could Have Scored 'Five or Six' Goals Against Norwich City

Steven Gerrard couldn't hide his admiration for Luis Suarez after seeing the striker score another hat-trick at Carrow Road, as Liverpool turned on the style to beat Norwich City 5-2. The No.7 was at his unstoppable best as he became a history maker in being the first Reds player to ever score three goals in the same away league fixture in successive seasons. "Luis has had...

Rodgers praises hat-trick hero

Brendan Rodgers has hailed hat-trick hero Luis Suarez as a ‘wonderful talent’ after Liverpool triumphed 5-2 over Norwich. The 25-year-old...

Chelsea´s Oscar dreams of legend status

Chelsea midfielder Oscar wants to follow in the footsteps of Frank Lampard and John Terry and become a legend at...
Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.