Tag Archives: character

Martin Jol rules Fulham out of signing Chelsea"s Frank Lampard

Lampard will never play for Fulham! Jol rules out move for ace

By
Simon Peach, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

22:40 GMT, 16 April 2013

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UPDATED:

06:49 GMT, 17 April 2013

Martin Jol has laughed off any chance of Fulham signing Frank Lampard ahead of tomorrow's west London derby with Chelsea.

The 34-year-old midfielder might be just two goals shy of the Blues' all-time scoring record, but a Stamford Bridge exit at the end of his contract this summer looks likely.

Having stayed on the bench for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City, Lampard is in line to make his 600th Chelsea appearance tomorrow at Craven Cottage.

Moving on: Chelsea's Frank Lampard looks set to leave the club in the summer

Moving on: Chelsea's Frank Lampard looks set to leave the club in the summer

Fulham boss Jol was full of praise for the England international ahead of the match but dismissed suggestions he might make a summer approach.

'He is the most productive midfield player in England in the last 30 or 40 years,' the Dutchman said.

'Everyone would love to have him. He's fit and is a good character.

'He will have a smile on his face if he listens to Fulham but I would love to have him.

Heading for the exit: Lampard has scored 200 goals for Chelsea

Heading for the exit: Lampard has scored 200 goals for Chelsea

'But it's hypothetical as he will never play for Fulham. I'm not sure he will play for a top-10 team.

'He's a legend – a living legend over there. He won all the prizes over there. In the end I have a feeling they will keep him.'

Any move for Lampard would fly in the face of Jol's ambition to lower the age of the Fulham squad.

They have had the oldest in the Premier League for the past three seasons, but the Dutchman will not use young players for the sake of it.

'Necessity is the mother of invention,' he said. 'I've got a few youngsters but they have to do well.

No interest: Martin Jol says he won't move for Lampard in the summer

No interest: Martin Jol says he won't move for Lampard in the summer

'For example Matthew Briggs is a youngster and has played for a few loan teams but he has to do well.

'If you don't do well you can't expect to be in the first team.

'Kaca (Alex Kacaniklic) did okay but they have to work hard and develop themselves.

'Kerim Frei is one them. Chris David will be one of them but they have to prove they are as good as someone in the first team.

'It's not an easy one but I'm 100 per cent certain that we have one of the best academies in England. They proved that every year – champions of England and finalists before.

'How many players in England are 18 or 19 in the first team Mention one player. But Fulham will have one or two. I am always respectful for my older players.'

Jim Boyle banned for two months for using Alkalising Agent on horse

Boyle punished for using banned powder on horse despite being cleared of 'milkshaking'

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UPDATED:

19:47 GMT, 18 December 2012


Punished: Jim Boyle has been given a short-term ban

Punished: Jim Boyle has been given a short-term ban

Epsom trainer Jim Boyle has been fined 3,500 and will be prevented from making entries for two months following a British Horseracing Authority inquiry into alleged 'milkshaking'.

Although Boyle was cleared of using an alkalinising agent on New Den at Lingfield in April 2011, he was found guilty of knowingly using a ‘Tie-up Powder’ on the horse which is banned on race day.

The use of an Alkalising Agent, usually Sodium Bicarbonate, on racehorses is a practise that has particularly gained notoriety in America. It acts by reducing the build-up of Lactic Acid in muscles as fatigue sets in.

Boyle would have faced a fare more serious penalty had he been found guilty of ‘milkshaking’.

New Den never ran at Lingfield on the day in question after a random pre-race test showed abnormally high levels of TC02 in his system, often an indicator of ‘milkshaking’.

The BHA disciplinary panel concluded Boyle had been aware New Den had been given a 'tie-up powder' on the day of the Lingfield race, and that he was doing so 'in the knowledge that the powders administered could affect the gelding's racing performance'.

Boyle, a former vet who produced a series of good character references at the hearing, has been Epsom’s most successful trainer numerically in recent years. In 2009, he trained 59 winners but this year’s total has dropped to 24.

Unless he appeals, the two-month restriction on making entries is likely to start in just over a week. However, Boyle can still continue to train the horses in his care.

Andy Murray"s Florida fitness camp: How US Open champion aims to win more majors from Miami base

Miami heat: Gruelling regime at US base as Murray hones game for fresh assault on majors

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UPDATED:

00:33 GMT, 14 December 2012

As a restless soul desperate to win the first Grand Slam he always looked destined for, Andy Murray would pound the beaches of Miami on Christmas morning in the attempt to gain an edge over his rivals.

The US Open trophy is now in the cabinet and the questions of when and if have stopped, but the 25-year-old Scot is still leaving his footprints in the sand and taking the hard path to further glory.

Around breakfast time on Thursday the mercury was nudging 80 and Murray was out there again, beginning another session that is necessary to build the platform from which he will try to replicate the achievements of 2012.

At least he now knows the agony that he puts his body through, the lung-busting repeat 400-metre runs and torturous sequences of upwards movement on a gadget called the VersaClimber, have given him the ultimate benefit of winning a major.

Sandy Murray: Mike Dickson (left) on the beach with Andy

Sandy Murray: Mike Dickson (left) on the beach with Andy

How I tried to keep up with Andy

He also knows that his victories at the Olympics and in New York are unlikely to win him this weekend’s Sports Personality Of The Year award, not when up against the magnetic character of Bradley Wiggins and his unprecedented triumph at the Tour de France.

Yet, as we were able to see first hand, nobody other than Murray on the glittering shortlist has to combine speed, power and physical endurance with the kind of technical finesse that is required to land a dropshot over the net like a falling snowflake.

Even those of us who are somewhat aerobically challenged could understand the torture of his repeat 400m shuttles on soft sand, marked out between beach huts.

Murray does each 400m shuttle in around one minute and 15 seconds (I take somewhat longer), and he then has the same time to rest before doing it again, 10 times.

On the track he can do the same distance in 53 seconds, the time it took Mo Farah to do his last Olympic lap, although as Murray drily observes, Farah has already done 4,600 metres by that point. Scientific analysis shows that at maximum speed when sprinting for a ball, he covers the court at more than 10 metres per second.

Small wonder that his trainer/ torturer-in-chief Jez Green reflected: ‘He is just a superb all-round athlete, genetically blessed and underpinning it with an incredible work ethic.’

Easing off: Murray lets Mike have a breather before relaxing in the Florida sun (below)

Easing off: Murray lets Mike have a breather before relaxing in the Florida sun (below)

Easing off: Murray lets Mike have a breather before relaxing in the Florida sun (below)

Murray is so determined not to compromise his annual month-long boot camp in his second home of South Florida, prior to flying home briefly for Christmas and heading out to Australia via the Middle East, that he has sent his apologies to SPOTY.

That is one reason why he yesterday opened up his camp — which coach Ivan Lendl is a wisecracking part of, in contrast to his stony player-box demeanour — and reflected on his breakthrough year with unusual candour.

Wherever he comes on Sunday there have been more profound rewards, such as a boost to his sometimes wavering self-esteem, and the deep satisfaction that his home town of Dunblane is now known for more than just the terrible massacre he himself survived as a child.

The fear of being recognised in the street, or occasionally abused, has dissipated. ‘Since the Olympics I just feel a bit better about myself. I find it easier to walk around with my head up, whereas before I was always head down, not wanting anyone to see me or say anything,’ Murray said.

‘Maybe I felt that having lost in Grand Slam finals I was letting whoever it was down. I know I had been reminded every day for the last six years that it’s this long since someone from our country won a Slam. So there was part of me probably that felt a little bit of responsibility. It’s nice not to have worry about that any more and see what else I can achieve.’

Emotional scenes: Murray's return to Dunblane was attended by locals in their thousands as the Scottish town's favourite son added a US Open crown to Olympic gold

Emotional scenes: Murray's return to Dunblane was attended by locals in their thousands as the Scottish town's favourite son added a US Open crown (below) to Olympic gold in a remarkable year

Emotional scenes: Murray wins the US Open

It is clear that a true highlight of 2012 was his post-US Open visit home, when 20,000 thronged Dunblane’s streets.

‘A lot of people there say that it has a much more positive image now and it has been great to do something for them.

‘Half
my family still live there, my grandparents do a lot for the community
and my uncle has a shop there. It was weird walking down the High
Street, when I was young it seemed so massive yet when I was walking
down it that day it seemed so little. When people mention the more
positive image it’s nice because it was a terrible thing that happened
there once.’

Murray
still cannot remember much of the climax to the US Open from when he sat
down at 5-2 in the final set to the moment when, somewhat
shambolically, he was left searching for his sponsored watch in the
immediate aftermath.

‘People
have asked if I still have the racket but I think I threw it into the
crowd with my shirt. The whole thing was a bit of a blur. I was
wondering what song they played in the stadium at the changeover as I
was preparing to serve it out and I’m told it was I Feel So Close by Calvin Harris.

‘The
strange thing is I bumped into him at the airport the following day and
he came up to say congratulations, I really like that song but had no
idea that it was playing just before I won.

‘With
the watch I had just started with Rado before Wimbledon and after I
lost the final there I forgot to put it on and so I got into trouble.
That’s why I went over to my box and asked where it was, they had put it
in a zipped pocket in my racket bag and I couldn’t find it.’

The catalyst: Murray's partnership with Ivan Lendl has been a fruitful one

The catalyst: Murray's partnership with eight-time Grand Slam-winner Ivan Lendl has been a fruitful one

Lendl has been key to his success and the sometimes headstrong Murray admits that, due to the weight of his mentor’s achievements, he listens to him in a way he should have listened to other coaches in the past.

‘When we started it was much more short term — “Let’s see how the first few months of the year goes” — now we are asking what are we going to be doing in four or five years’ time. We’re very honest and open and that’s why we are planning long term.

‘After I lost in the Australian Open semis Ivan just seemed to say the right things, that’s when I knew. When I lost at Wimbledon he knew exactly what I was feeling because he has been there himself.’

Most days here Lendl supervises the technical practice, using Britain’s Jamie Baker and former US Open junior champion Oliver Golding as partners.

Green plots the on-court sprint and endurance training, using eight stations that are designed to replicate movement in rallies. They have analysed matches against Novak Djokovic and seen that many points can last between 60 and 70 seconds, so the idea is that Murray can physically cope with whatever the Serb throws at him.

Of course pre-season is hardly party time either for the likes of Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who is on the comeback trail. That is why Murray needs to remain a restless soul, and why he has to keep on running.

David Luiz: I have bright future at Chelsea

I'll silence critics! Chelsea's Luiz confident he can convince doubters of bright future at Stamford Bridge

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UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 11 December 2012

David Luiz has emerged from the storm with his spirit unbroken and his hair unruffled, at least no more unruly than before, and he feels ready to embark on the next stage of his Chelsea career.

Luiz put his hand up when doubts were raised as to whether anyone in this squad had the strength of character required to lead the team beyond the era of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech.

He went some way to proving this when he stepped forward to take a Champions League penalty against Nordsjaelland last week and again with his determination to confront his critics.

Scroll down for Graham Chadwick's video diary

Stepping up: Luiz in in Japan as Chelsea chase the Club World Cup

Stepping up: Luiz in in Japan as Chelsea chase the Club World Cup

Mobbed: Luiz spends time signing autographs for the fans

Mobbed: Luiz spends time signing autographs for the fans

'No one likes criticism,' said the
25-year-old Brazilian. 'It gets to you and you don’t like it and you
ask, “Why are they saying this I tried my best, why can’t they see I’m
trying” It’s natural to think like that.

'You can have moments where you’re
down but you can’t let them last. They have to pass. I can be sad for
one or two hours but the rest of the day I need to be happy because the
team needs me to be positive. My brain needs it. I need it.

'It does get to me. I am not always
happy when I see the criticism, and I do care because this is my job.
But I’m a positive person. In the end, I know all the difficulties in
your life you can change. You can do something about them. When you
experience difficult moments, I know I’m strong enough to change things
and move on.'

No stopping me: Fernando Torres controls the ball during training

No stopping me: Fernando Torres controls the ball during training

Leg up: Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole warm-up ahead of training

Leg up: Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole warm-up ahead of training

Luiz, once dismissed by Gary Neville
on Sky TV as a PlayStation defender controlled by a 10-year-old, found
his style targeted again when Chelsea started to struggle under Roberto
Di Matteo earlier this season.

He may be quick and technically superb
but can appear erratic, takes risks and sometimes makes mistakes, but
this is his game. It does not mean he doesn’t care.

‘When the criticism came two or three
months ago, it wasn’t a problem,’ said Luiz. ‘In my head, I knew I was
working hard and I could lay my head down on my pillow at night knowing
I’m an honest guy, trying my best.

‘This is a big club. Every little
mistake is highlighted. At a big club you need to be strong. If you
can’t take that, stay at home and work at another job.

‘I was captain at Benfica at 21. I
know my personality is to be a natural leader. So I know now that, at
this moment, with the team’s leaders of many, many years out of the
team, I need to take responsibility of the team and try and help the
young players.

David Luiz

Fernando Torres

What the world is waiting for: David Luiz and Fernando Torres train ahead of their game with CF Monterre

Keep up: Rafael Benitez shows off his ball skills during Chelsea training

Keep up: Rafael Benitez shows off his ball skills during Chelsea training

‘Eden Hazard is a great talent and an
amazing player but someone who needs support. He has only just arrived
in the Premier League, like Oscar and other players.

‘Some are more shy, like Ramires. So I
need to take that responsibility. I don’t have a problem with that in
bad moments. I always say my shoulders are broad and I can take that
extra responsibility. I love it. I want it.

‘I prefer to take it on myself to help
the other guys, who can go and play with their heads clear and calm. I
can play with this added responsibility. I enjoy it.’

Luiz was released by Sao Paulo at the
age of 14 and left his family home, moving to the Brazilian city of
Salvador where he picked up his career at Vitoria, breaking into the
lower league team and moving to Europe to sign for Benfica at 19.

His big hair and casual style on the
ball make it easy to overlook the grit he has displayed to clinch his
23million move to the Barclays Premier League in January 2011.

Talking a good game: Chelsea interim manager Benitez talks to his players in training

Talking a good game: Chelsea interim manager Benitez talks to his players in training

Focus on the job ahead: The Chelsea players train ahead of their game with CF Monterrey

Focus on the job ahead: The Chelsea players train ahead of their game with CF Monterrey

In Rafa Benitez, Luiz now has a coach
who is keen to devote time and attention to the way Chelsea defend. It
could be the making of Luiz.

‘If the results don’t come now, they
will come in the future,’ said Luiz. ‘In the last four games I’ve played
really well, at the top level and with confidence. I need to continue
this work and mentality.

‘Every day work, work, work, this is
the key to football because if you don’t, other guys work more than you
do and they kill you.’

Luiz grew up supporting Corinthians,
the team he could face in the FIFA Club World Cup. It is a tournament
which has always been important in Brazilian football.

‘When I was young I always talked
about this competition, dreaming that one day I would get the chance to
play in it, in the final. Now I have that opportunity.

‘We want to win it as well. It’s a title Chelsea have never won and it would be good for us for the rest of the season.’

Watch Graham Chadwick video diary with the Chelsea squad at the Club World Cup

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Sandro interview and VIDEO: Spurs and Brazil ace strums along to Coldplay and enjoys darts with Bobby George!

EXCLUSIVE: At home with Sandro! He sings and strums along to Coldplay and enjoys darts and beers with Bobby George… when his Japanese fighting dog will allow it

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 30 November 2012

Sandro sings!

To watch Tottenham's eccentric midfielder belting out cover versions of Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas numbers, scroll to the bottom of this article…

Sandro Raniere Guimaraes Cordeiro strums his guitar, leans back on his stool and sings into a gold microphone in a surprisingly pleasant tone. ‘Tonight’s gonna be a good night,’ he declares and, whatever the night might bring, it feels like it’s going to be an interesting interview.

Inside his relatively modest Essex home, Tottenham’s young Brazilian midfielder is going through the set list of an impromptu gig.

He begins by playing two colourful numbers from Brazilian duo Humberto and Ronaldo, then switches to the UK pop scene with Coldplay’s The Scientist before returning to that Black Eyed Peas number. ‘I Gotta Feeling,’ he reveals, even encouraging his five-man audience to join in. ‘Come on everybody,’ he says.

Lord of the strings: Sandro shows off his collection of guitars at his home in Chigwell, Essex

Lord of the strings: Sandro shows off his collection of guitars at his home in Chigwell, Essex

Out of his element but in his element; north-east London and plunging temperatures but also soulful sounds and a smile on his face. It does not take long to figure out this eccentric character has a lust for life.

It is not just music that he plays. He loves a game of darts. Once he wrestles free of his snap-happy pup Clique — a two-week old Japanese Akita named after a track by rapper Kanye West — he throws darts at the board he bought after discovering the sport on television. Believe it or not, that board has been pierced by missiles fired from the hand of Bobby George.

That’s right. Bobby George, former World Championship finalist from east London (age 66) and Sandro, Premier League footballer from a small town near Brasilia (age 23), have been known to enjoy a right old knees-up. The image breathes new life into The Odd Couple concept.

‘Really, really,’ says Sandro in English, sensing his interviewer’s scepticism. He mimes placing two bottles on his coffee table and adds: ‘I put the beers down. Bob George is funny. These days, only a little bit gold. But still…’

The King of Bling was introduced to Sandro by a mutual friend and the pair enjoyed an afternoon at George’s Essex mansion for the Premier League Show in April. A rather amusing video of Sandro being taught George’s classic putdown — ‘You want your mummy’ — was filmed and put online.

He slips into his native Portuguese to explain through a translator. ‘When I moved here I would watch darts on TV all the time,’ he says. ‘I saw the crowd, everybody cheering and thought, “It really looks like good fun”. I got a friend of mine to buy a board for me. I started getting better so my friend said, “I know this guy who used to be a professional and would really like to meet you”.

On the oche: The Brazilian midfielder is a keen darts player, and has had a game with Bobby George (below)

On the oche: The Brazilian midfielder is a keen darts player, and has had a game with Bobby George (below)

On the oche: The Brazilian midfielder is a keen darts player, and has had a game with Bobby George (below)

‘So we did the interview and I played his son Richard. Now we’ve become friends, he comes here, we play together. It’s great fun.’

He stands and arrows three darts from a distance of only five feet but finds his accuracy does not quite match that of his favourite, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. ‘All fours!’ he exclaims in mock angst.

He flops into a reclining leather chair and emits a deep chuckle. It is a noise which punctuates the next couple of hours.

The tears flow easily.

At 17, Sandro has spent two years living in a house on a hill nearly 900 miles away from home in pursuit of happiness. But he is lonely and sad. Numerous other teenage football hopefuls have become housemates but they are away on trials with professional clubs while he stays and trains in solitary.

Accommodated in Curitiba in the southern state of Parana by businessmen keen to unearth the next Brazilian diamond, Sandro is told by his agent he is being saved for a chance at a top club.

At 15 he had left the town of Planaltina in the nation’s centre for a trial at Atletico Paranaense but, as he says in English: ‘They closed the door in my face — two times!’ Months of toil followed and Sandro was feeling the strain.

Puppy love: Sandro with Clique, a two-week old Japanese Akita named after a track by rapper Kanye West

Puppy love: Sandro with Clique, a two-week old Japanese Akita named after a track by rapper Kanye West

‘It was the worst time of my life,’ he explains in Portuguese. ‘The businessmen had money to invest. This happens in Brazil, like a boy band in England. I was given basic training to bulk me up.

‘It was a small timber house on top of a hill, in the middle of nowhere, just isolated. There was a lady who would come once a day to cook my lunch, leave my dinner and clean a little bit. I would see all these boys coming and going and I would stay in this house.’ He shouts in English: ‘/11/30/article-2241197-1642BC3C000005DC-125_634x416.jpg” width=”634″ height=”416″ alt=”Brazilian flair, English graft: Sandro says he always considered himself suited to the Premier League” class=”blkBorder” />

Brazilian flair, English graft: Sandro says he always considered himself suited to the Premier League

It turns out the agent was telling the truth. A trial with league side Londrina led to a match at which scouts from Internacional spotted his talent. They whisked him away from the house on the hill.

His father Joaci was a bricklayer, his mother Rosangela was a housekeeper. They often left him and his elder brother Saymon to care for themselves while they worked long hours for little money.

‘Like every boy in Brazil we played in the streets,’ says Sandro. ‘We would make a ball with anything — you know, little socks or a can, and play mostly bare-footed.

‘Sometimes we would find wasteland, pull the weeds out and play there. But that wasn’t good, either. When I came home from playing, the top of my toes would be completely red raw.’

In English he chimes: ‘So bad! Look mum, look!’ He points to his feet which are now tucked inside Converse sneakers.

‘But you know, we would never give up because it was a passion. I remember other boys who had better financial conditions and their own football boots. Any little tear and they would throw the boots away. I would jump to get them. “Oh my god this guy is mad,” they thought. But I would get back home, stitch them and use them.

Growing influence: Sandro joined Spurs from Brazilian side Internacional in August 2010

Growing influence: Sandro joined Spurs from Brazilian side Internacional in August 2010

‘It’s funny. Now that I can afford it I bought a house for my mother in the gated community where she used to work.’

The Barclays Premier League is a big deal in Brazil. It has been broadcast for years in the country, so when Sandro was told Tottenham were interested in him at the South American Under 20 Championship of 2009 he knew the scale of the news.

After he captained his nation to the title he returned to Internacional, who were about to embark on a successful challenge in the Copa Libertadores tournament — the Champions League of Latin America.

‘Tottenham came to see me play and they started negotiations which took one year,’ he says.

‘When I signed for Tottenham (in March 2010) it was about halfway through the Libertadores campaign and when I went back to Inter all the fans thought I wouldn’t do anything for them.

‘But after what Inter did for me I would never do that. I tried to dedicate myself even more because I knew how important it would be to win that competition. The fans appreciated that. My farewell to Inter was to win the Libertadores.

‘Every single Brazilian player dreams of playing in Europe. When you hear one of the big teams is interested you just get your suitcase. Actually, I prefer to play in England because I always thought the English style of football would suit me better.’

After a quiet start to life at White Hart Lane, he was thrown into a Champions League tie in the San Siro against AC Milan and starred — shackling Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Spurs pulled off an unlikely 1-0 win. ‘I think that’s when the Tottenham supporters really saw me.’

He says he was not surprised by Harry Redknapp’s departure at the end of last season because in Brazil changes in management are commonplace. The appointment of Andre Villas-Boas has helped Sandro find his voice.

‘Harry brought me over, so I’m going to appreciate him,’ he says. ‘Of course I was sad to see him leave but to me it wasn’t very strange, that’s what I’m used to.

‘With Harry, I didn’t speak much because of the language barrier. But with Andre it is totally different. You can see when we are on the pitch I go to the bench to talk to him. I like to give my opinion.

‘I am always aware what is going on during the game. I can see gaps here or somebody’s doing something wrong there, so now I feel more confident. I want to be involved. My English is improving so I can be more vocal, tell the players off.’

He demonstrates: ‘Come, go back, don’t do it! Not bossy because in Portuguese that has very negative connotations. I’m new to the club, I’m young, so I respect the hierarchy. I don’t go over the senior players.’

He laughs and says in English: ‘You can imagine, Brad Friedel…’

Blue-tiful: Sandro shows off an eccentric hairstyle on the pitch last September

Blue-tiful: Sandro shows off an eccentric hairstyle on the pitch last September

This season began well as he formed an impressive partnership with Mousa Dembele but a dip while the Belgian was out saw Spurs slide down the table. They have won the last two, though, and Sandro is positive ahead of the trip to Fulham.

‘In my view, I always play to win the title,’ he says before adding: ‘We have to finish within the top four. Top four would be a good season.’

With that he seizes the Dictaphone and threatens to delete the entire recording, a big grin on his face. Thankfully, he does not follow through, instead grabbing his guitar and plucking the strings once more.

His cousin has arrived to cook a meal and the scent of warming beef stew wafts from the kitchen. The fluffy ball that is Clique bites away at any exposed limbs.

Sandro is hungry, too, but not so hungry that he neglects to offer a tour of his home. The living room, his sanctuary, contains a drum kit and flatscreen television and is decorated with pictures from his life. A Brazil flag is pinned up behind a small plastic Christmas tree.

Upstairs are sparsely-decorated spare bedrooms which friends and family use when over. Once in his room he rushes to the corner. He pauses for dramatic effect then switches on a favourite item; stars project onto the ceiling. He jokes that it woos the ladies, tongue firmly in cheek.

As a gimmick the sight is not bad. As a metaphor for the aspirations of Sandro the showman, it is better.

VIDEO: SANDRO SINGS COLDPLAY AND THE BLACK EYED PEAS!

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Sir Dave Richards causes ructions at the FA over John Terry statement – Charles Sale

Richards causes ructions at the FA

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UPDATED:

00:13 GMT, 21 November 2012

The fall-out from the John Terry racism case continues to cause tension at the top of the FA more than a year after he clashed with QPR’s Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road.

The high-level issue yet to be resolved concerns FA board member and Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards giving evidence to the hearing that led to the Chelsea captain being banned for four matches for racist abuse.

Richards was mentioned in the disciplinary commission findings for having provided Terry with a character reference in connection with his support for charitable causes.

Support: Former FA vice-Chairman Sir Dave Richards gave a character reference to John Terry

Support: Former FA vice-Chairman Sir Dave Richards gave a character reference to John Terry

However, the FA’s group legal director Alistair MacLean has written to Richards, an FA vice-chairman at the time, wanting to know why he got involved in a case brought by English football’s ruling body.

Richards, who has since stepped down as vice-chairman but remains a director, is believed not to have replied to the letter. The FA would not comment.

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Viagogo await court decision on Twickenham ticket sales

The Supreme Court are due to rule on Wednesday whether secondary ticket site Viagogo have to reveal to the RFU details of people who offered Twickenham seats for sale through the website in breach of the Union’s conditions.

Yet Viagogo, despite losing the original court case and again in the Court of Appeal, were still promoting their busy sale of England tickets for Saturday’s Test against South Africa.

Viagogo director Ed Parkinson said: ‘It is perfectly legal to re-sell rugby tickets today and we believe it will be perfectly legal to do so tomorrow. Our service is more popular than ever.’

Clattenburg won't go to Brazil

It was claimed by Soccerex that referee Mark Clattenburg, who hasn’t been allocated a Premier League game in the next round of fixtures, would be in Rio de Janeiro instead to take charge of a legends football festival on Copacabana Beach featuring Marcel Desailly and Carlos Valderrama.

No beach time: Mark Clattenburg will not take charge of a legends game on Copacabana Beach

No beach time: Mark Clattenburg will not take charge of a legends game on Copacabana Beach

However, despite his free weekend, Clattenburg will not be travelling to Brazil, having never committed to the Soccerex conference proposal. The findings of the FA probe into Chelsea allegations of racist comments made by the referee are due this week.

The Secret Race favorite for book gong

The panel who pick the William Hill Sports Book of the Year have a long history of ignoring the obvious choice on the shortlist.

But cyclist Tyler Hamilton’s revelatory The Secret Race, co-written with Daniel Coyle, which set the Tour de France drugs scandal agenda ahead of Lance Armstrong being stripped of his seven titles, has to be the 2012 winner.

It would also be fitting if Armstrong’s autobiography, which won in 2000, is expunged from William Hill’s 24-year roll of honour.

Not a fan: BBC Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew does not like rival broadcast Test Match Sofa

Not a fan: BBC Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew does not like rival broadcast Test Match Sofa

Sofa so bad for Aggers

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew is causing ructions in India with his paranoid opposition to the irreverent and harmless Test Match Sofa alternative to the official ball-by-ball commentary on Test Match Special, which is legally available only to listeners in the UK.

Yet his one-eyed defence of the Beeb service hasn’t stopped Aggers advising cricket fans on Twitter on whom to contact for instructions to access TMS from overseas — in contravention of the rights he seeks so passionately to protect.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘We do not endorse any unofficial ways of listening to BBC radio sport output.’ But the Beeb would not comment on whether Agnew would be reprimanded for his off-piste tweeting.

Blatter visit gives Sheepshanks chance to shine as FA candidate

David Sheepshanks, chairman of St George’s Park, will get another opportunity with the visit of FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Wednesday to show the football statesman qualities that make him a contender to succeed David Bernstein as FA chairman next June.

However, the choice of chairman — after administrative incompetence, complacency and board betrayals led to Bernstein losing the vote to extend his term — is made more confusing by the Premier League looking to replace their chairman, Sir Dave Richards, at the same time.

London 2012 vice-chairman Sir Keith Mills would be the No 1 selection for both positions. But he is waiting until next month to consider fully his numerous options.

Jen Chang and Duncan Jenkins row: Using fans as muscle is abuse of power – Martin Samuel

Amid his Twitter row, Liverpool's Chang should know using the supporters as muscle is a dangerous abuse of power

|

UPDATED:

06:35 GMT, 24 October 2012

Wherever Jen Chang is presently residing, it is to be hoped he was watching the match between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United on Friday night. There, in microcosm, was the reason so many are taking his spat with a man who doesn't exist seriously.

Duncan Jenkins may be a fictional character but the man who created him on Twitter, Sean Cummins, says the threats he received from Chang, head of communications at Liverpool, were very real. It is the word of one man against another, so we should tread carefully but, if true, it is the manner of Chang's ultimatums that disturb.

Chang is accused of threatening to unleash the Liverpool supporters on Cummins, as if they were his personal heavy mob. This is outrageous, if correct. Football supporters are the biggest gang in town. And those with a direct line to their emotions need to exercise that power wisely indeed.

Dark side: Chris Kirkland holds his head after being assaulted by Leeds fan Aaron Crawley (circled)

Dark side: Chris Kirkland holds his head after being assaulted by Leeds fan Aaron Crawley (circled)

Chang arrived at Anfield earlier this year, freshly imported from the United States where he worked for ESPN. He was supposed to be a safe, corporate pair of hands after the PR debacle of the Luis Suarez racism affair. Yet this season Chang became inexplicably vexed by a Twitter presence known as Duncan Jenkins.

The tag 'perspiring journalist' should have been the clue. Jenkins does not exist. He is the alter ego of Liverpool supporter Sean Cummins, a parody of an ambitious sports reporter.

As Jenkins, Cummins would search the ether for transfer rumours, team news and gossip, then issue it as fact. His judgment of the rumour mill, however, was uncannily astute and he got quite a lot right.

Chang, seemingly, missed the joke and the randomness of the enterprise and thought Liverpool had a mole. Believing the club's business to be damaged by these leaks, he set up a meeting with Cummins. From here it gets murky.

Accused: Ian Arye (left) is investigating claims of harassment against Jen Chang (right)

Accused: Ian Arye (left) is investigating claims of harassment against Jen Chang (right)

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According to Cummins, at their lunch date in Manchester, Chang threatened him. He said he would expose him as the source of harmful rumours and the fans would make his life a living hell.

Some of the fantasy menaces were quite bizarre: dog faeces through the letterbox; harm to the business run by Cummins' father. If the account is accurate, Chang appears patronisingly to regard Liverpool supporters as little more than thugs for hire.

Chang denies much of this and there are some who regard Cummins as little more than a self-publicist. It seems a strange falsehood to tell, though, not least for the awkwardness it may cause when Cummins next arrives to support his favourite club.

Ian Ayre, Liverpool managing director, is treating the affair seriously enough to conduct an internal investigation and met Cummins on Monday. Cummins felt he received a fair hearing. Chang, meanwhile, is keeping a low profile.

He did not take his seat at the annual dinner held by the Football Writers' Association in Manchester at the weekend, and may have to issue an apology before he can actively pursue his role again. It may be that Chang has been falsely maligned. Perhaps Cummins misunderstood, or misheard.

Only two men truly know what was said at that meeting. If Cummins' recollections are believed, however, Chang will be very fortunate to keep his job.

Using the loyalty of supporters as muscle is a dangerous and irresponsible abuse of executive power. What happened at Hillsborough on Friday demonstrates the extremes of behaviour that can be unleashed by club passions.

Nobody should toy with the most unhinged or fanatical element of any band of supporters. The thug who assaulted Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was not inspired by Leeds, but his actions most certainly stemmed from a misguided, misdirected fervour for his club.

Could Chang, or any club official, live with the consequences if violent behaviour towards an individual as good as originated from a club directive Leeds United did not contribute to events at Hillsborough last week. It was a Leeds fan, Aaron Crawley from Cheltenham, who got tanked up and attacked Kirkland, but there the connection ends.

David Jones, the Wednesday manager, was understandably upset that his opposite number, Neil Warnock, still made his players applaud the travelling fans after a night of vile chants and one unforgivable assault, but there is no suggestion Leeds stoked bad behaviour prior to the game.

Jailed: Leeds 'fan' Aaron Cawley was handed a four-month prison sentence

Jailed: Leeds fan Aaron Cawley was handed a four-month prison sentence

Had there been a fall-out from the Duncan Jenkins summit, however, could Chang be equally blameless Every club manager, executive, player or administrator treads the line between demanding the fiercest loyalty and maintaining a sense of proportion. If Chang, new to the English game and impressed by how readily mobilised and unified Liverpool supporters were already by tragedy at Hillsborough, then sought to exploit this, it really would be the most reckless exploitation.

Yet if Chang lost his sense of restraint he would not be the first. Ken Bates has been the proud champion of a number of clubs and is still hugely popular with the supporters at Chelsea – no mean feat for the current chairman of Leeds – but has come perilously close to using tactics that went beyond the pale in the past, bringing public disputes into areas that breached the boundaries of personal privacy. This is a disappointing stance, when he has always been perfectly capable of winning his battles on his wits alone.

We do not know if intolerable pressure was what Chang intended when he met Cummins. Single source stories are frowned upon by Lord Leveson, so it may be that this one simply fizzles out with time, too.

Whatever was said that day, though, the timely juxtaposition of the Liverpool inquiry and the actions of a lone hooligan at Hillsborough should be a lesson and reminder for all. There are men enough out there who do not think rationally, without the saner members of society crossing to the dark side. We know the sort who would manipulate the disaffected proletariat for their own, violent ends. You'll find them in all good history books but not, one would hope, within any good football club.

Fair Kop, Andy

Andy Carroll says he was never given a fair chance at Liverpool. He was there 18 months and cost 35million. If he seriously believes that having paid such a huge sum the club were not desperate for his move to succeed, he may have that ponytail wound a little too tight.

England need more than saviour Jack…

Jack Wilshere may play for Arsenal this week and already, with the England team floundering, he is being promoted as The Answer for Roy Hodgson. Stuart Pearce would like a piece of him for the Under 21s, too, and predictably this has brought a wary response from Arsene Wenger.

'If you have to wait for one player to come back that means something is wrong,' he said. 'If Spain are world and European champions, it is because they are spoiled for choice.'

Welcome back, Jack: Wilshere is closing in on a first-team return for Arsenal after 15 months out

Welcome back, Jack: Wilshere is closing in on a first-team return for Arsenal after 15 months out

Indeed. If the season stopped right now, Juan Mata would have a fair claim to be Footballer of the Year. In tandem with Eden Hazard, he has been magnificent in Chelsea's rise to the top of the table.

Yet after being active for Spain at senior, Under 21 and Olympic level in six out of the last seven summers, Mata asked for a rest and missed a friendly with Saudi Arabia and a qualifying fixture in Georgia. He has not been picked in the squad since. This is the power that England lack, always waiting for a saviour to rise from the ranks.

Mind you, much the same could be said of Arsenal. It wasn't England who played Wilshere into the ground the season before his ankle injury caused him to miss 2011-12 in its entirety.

And while we're at it

Steve Evans is back in the dug-out with Rotherham United, having served his six-game stadium ban. So where is the T-shirt protest over that Where is the mobilisation of player power, the splinter group, the righteous howl of outrage

Evans was charged with exposing himself to a female official from Bradford City, during a match with his Crawley Town side last season. Witness accounts say he deliberately dropped his trousers in the dressing-room area after the game. His ban was two matches less than Luis Suarez's for racist abuse; and not a peep from anybody.

Charged: Evans is back in the dug-out with Rotherham United having served his six-game stadium ban

Charged: Evans is back in the dug-out with Rotherham United having served his six-game stadium ban

We are acutely aware of the years of discrimination and oppression that make race such an issue, yet the same prejudices have also helped maintain sexism and misogyny in our society.

While John Terry's four-game ban is denounced for its perceived leniency, however, the skewed message relayed by Evans's six-game ban passes unnoticed. Women rarely come out well in the psychological warfare waged on the pitch during football matches. Wives, mothers, sisters, girlfriends, ex-team-mates' ex-girlfriends, they are usually only good for one thing.

Had Evans behaved in a racist or homophobic manner, there would almost certainly have been a T-shirt for the occasion. As it is, he is still in the boys' club.

Bacra drop away strip

Barcelona will ditch their latest second strip at the end of this season. The horrid orange top, merging into yellow at the bottom of the shirts, made them look like cheap ice lollies. Not even the finest footballers on the planet could appear cool in that outfit. They will now wear a new shirt based on the red and yellow stripes of the Catalan flag.

End of the road: Barcelona will ditch their away strip

End of the road: Barcelona will ditch their away strip

How convenient, though, that this design flaw comes with its own boosted revenue stream, as fans replace their out-of-date replica tops with the updated version.

If Barcelona truly were more than a club, as they claim, they would let supporters exchange the offensive merchandise for free. Don't hold your breath.

Why the FA's code is just not credible

The compromise at the heart of the Football Association's brave new code of conduct is there in black and white. On one page, dire warnings about the use of drugs and alcohol, on the next the evils of wearing unofficial issue sportswear. So what are they trying to protect here The integrity of the game or marketing rights

Watching Pat McQuaid of the International Cycling Union wriggle under scrutiny over the Lance Armstrong affair this week reveals the bankruptcy of merging principle with commerce. McQuaid could see no wrong in his organisation accepting 78,000 in donations from Armstrong between 2002 and 2007, when rumours were flying that he was corrupting the sport.

Indeed, McQuaid said he would accept charity from riders again. At this point, he lost all credibility, as do the FA when they equate a failed drugs test with a pair of unsanctioned training shoes.

You've been tangoed

Phil Brown, former manager of Hull City, was discussing racism on Radio 5 Live this week. 'I've been called Tangoman,' he protested, 'I've been called Orangeman. Is that racist I want to know what is racist.' Not that, Phil. Definitely not that.

Sticking to the rulebook

There has been much fuss about the FA council decision to make chairman David Bernstein stand down, according to the rulebook, in his 70th year. Why Bernstein knew the position when he took the job.

Suit you, sir: David Bernstein (left) will soon relieve his position as chairman of the Football Association

Suit you, sir: David Bernstein (left) will soon relieve his position as chairman of the Football Association

To get his feet under the table and try to introduce different terms of engagement is pretty much the approach taken by Michel Platini over the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Platini voted for a summer tournament and, ever since, has campaigned for a winter one. Bernstein accepted a short-term role and like most at the FA will now have to be dragged out of the place by his heels. Must be a nice little number.

Time for El Tel

Gerard Houllier is right to highlight the great flaw in the FA's St George's Park development: nobody at the top. Houllier cites the absence of a technical director, a respected former manager to act as the coach of coaches.

The FA already have Sir Trevor Brooking and, from July, Dan Ashworth, but neither possess the gravitas of a renowned and experienced top level manager. An entire generation of England players – many now involved in coaching – insist Terry Venables was England's best technical brain. He is certainly available, but maybe not in Burton-on-Trent.

Ian Thorpe suffered crippling depression through career

Swimming legend Thorpe afflicted by 'crippling depression' through career

|

UPDATED:

08:37 GMT, 13 October 2012

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe has opened up about living with 'crippling depression' throughout his career.

In excerpts from an upcoming biography, the five-time Olympic champion has revealed the illness was so bad at times he thought of suicide.

The 30-year-old said there were times in his life that made him 'shudder' at what he might have done as he planned potential places to end his life, although he was quick to add he is still uncertain whether he could have gone through with it.

Admission: Ian Thorpe says he has suffered from depression

Admission: Ian Thorpe says he has suffered from depression

And Thorpe – one of Australia's most recognised sports people – also revealed that at some of the worst times he turned to alcohol in a bid to quell the thoughts running about his head.

'It was the only way I could get to sleep,' revealed Thorpe in an extract from his upcoming book This Is Me: The Autobiography.

'It didn't happen every night, but there were numerous occasions, particularly between 2002 and 2004 as I trained to defend my Olympic titles in Athens, that I abused myself this way – always alone and in a mist of disgrace.'

Thorpe said he was able to hide the effects of alcohol from team-mates and coaches and continued to enjoy one of the best periods of his career, despite his private battle with depression.

Disguise: Thorpe felt he could hide the truth from his colleagues

Disguise: Thorpe felt he could hide the truth from his colleagues

The swimmer said he also felt the need to stay silent about his depression, thinking it was a 'character flaw'.

As a result he has never spoken about it to his parents.

'Not even my family is aware that I've spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as a crippling depression,' he wrote.

'Now I realise it's time to be open.

'I need to talk to them about it…I know how Mum will react; she'll cry and ask me why I didn't tell her and then she'll tell me how proud she is that I've finally talked about it.

'Dad is different. I'm not sure how he'll react. I know it'll take time for him to come to terms with it and how it fits in with his religious beliefs.

'I hope it does because family means a lot to me.'

Anton Ferdinand snubs John Terry and Ashley Cole handshake

Snub! Ferdinand provokes Terry by ignoring Chelsea skipper and Cole in handshake

|

UPDATED:

17:13 GMT, 15 September 2012

NOW FOR THE ACTION…

Click here to see if the teams could produce a game worthy of all the pre-match hype

There was controversy at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon when the pre-match handshake was marred by Anton Ferdinand opting to ignore both John Terry and Ashley Cole in the line-up.

The QPR defender provoked an angry reaction from the Chelsea skipper, who was barely acknowledged by Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness for Terry, further down the line.

Controversy: All focus was on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry as the pair met for the first time since the latter was acquitted of racially abusing the former during a Premier League game last season

Controversy: All focus was on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry as the pair met for the first time since the latter was acquitted of racially abusing the former during a Premier League game last season

Controversy: All focus was on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry as the pair met for the first time since the latter was acquitted of racially abusing the former during a Premier League game last season

Controversy: All focus was on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry as the pair met for the first time since the latter was acquitted of racially abusing the former during a Premier League game last season

The Barclays Premier League encounter is the first meeting between the clubs since Terry was found not guilty
of using a racial slur against the Hoops' Ferdinand in the
corresponding fixture last October.

No other QPR player appeared to
ignore Terry or Cole, who testified as a character witness for his
England team-mate at the trial.

Terry, who remains the subject of a
Football Association investigation over the charges that he denies, had
been a doubt for the Loftus Road clash but recovered from an ankle injury sustained on England duty. Ferdinand himself has been hampered by a shoulder injury.

Ignored: Ferdinand snubbed Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness for Terry

Ignored: Ferdinand snubbed Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness for Terry

Fury: It had been suggested the pre-match ritual be scrapped to avoid unnecessary attention

Fury: It had been suggested the pre-match ritual be scrapped to avoid unnecessary attention

Fury: It had been suggested the pre-match ritual be scrapped to avoid unnecessary attention

QPR fans then began making derogatory chants aimed at Terry and Cole. The pair were jeered every time they touched the ball as the highly-charged west London derby got under way.

The handshakes had been abandoned in advance of the previous two encounters between the clubs.

Tension: Both Terry and Ferdinand were jeered every time they touched the ball during the match

Tension: Both Terry and Ferdinand were jeered every time they touched the ball during the match

QPR manager Mark Hughes branded the handshake row 'ridiculous' on Friday and called for the ritual to be axed.

'Is this the best way to do it I think it’s open to debate,' he said. 'Maybe something could be done after the match.

'The lead-up to the game has been ridiculous and everyone has been focusing on this one moment just prior to the game.

Bad blood: Terry and Ferdinand clashed last season in the same fixture at Loftus Road

Bad blood: Terry and Ferdinand clashed last season in the same fixture at Loftus Road

'When I saw the list of questions I
was likely going to answer (at his press conference) there was nine on
the handshake and one on Hillsborough. Ridiculous.'

It is not the first time Terry has been involved in a handshake row. Wayne Bridge snubbed the former England captain following allegations of an affair with the Manchester City defender's former partner.

And Luis Suarez refused Manchester United's Patrice Evra's offer of a handshake, despite the Liverpool forward being found guilty by the Football Association of racially abusing him earlier in the season.

Previous: The Premier League has been hit with handshake controversy before, namely between Wayne Bridge and terry, and Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra

Previous: The Premier League has been hit with handshake controversy before, namely between Wayne Bridge and terry, and Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra

Previous: The Premier League has been hit with handshake controversy before, namely between Wayne Bridge and terry, and Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra

HOW THE CONTROVERSIAL PAIR HANDLED THE OCCASION

Pre-match: Anton Ferdinand snubs John Terry and Ashley Cole at the handshak.

Two minutes: Terry connects with a Frank Lampard corner but fails to keep half-chance on target.

19 mins: Ferdinand clears a lofted ball into the box by John Obi Mikel.

21 mins: Ferdinand concedes a free-kick after shoving Ryan Bertrand to the ground.

34 mins: Ferdinand clears a cross from Cole for a corner.

45 mins: Terry produces a vital interception to deny Jamie Mackie.

54 mins: Terry clears a dangerous cross from Park Ji-sung.

71 mins: Terry pulls up clutching his right knee and briefly leaves the pitch.

87 mins: Ferdinand heads away a cross from Daniel Sturridge as Chelsea press.

90 mins: Ferdinand limps off and has strapping wrapped around his right thigh.

John Terry and Anton Ferdinand handshake snub

Snub! Ferdinand provokes Terry by ignoring Chelsea skipper and Cole in handshake

|

UPDATED:

14:57 GMT, 15 September 2012

There was controversy at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon when the pre-match handshake was marred by Anton Ferdinand opting to ignore both John Terry and Ashley Cole in the line-up.

The QPR defender provoked an angry reaction from the Chelsea skipper, who was barely acknowledged by Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness for Terry, further down the line.

Controversy: All focus was on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry as the pair met for the first time since the latter was acquitted of racially abusing the former during a Premier League game last season

Controversy: All focus was on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry as the pair met for the first time since the latter was acquitted of racially abusing the former during a Premier League game last season

Controversy: All focus was on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry as the pair met for the first time since the latter was acquitted of racially abusing the former during a Premier League game last season

Controversy: All focus was on Anton Ferdinand and John Terry as the pair met for the first time since the latter was acquitted of racially abusing the former during a Premier League game last season

The Barclays Premier League encounter is the first meeting between the clubs since Terry was found not guilty
of using a racial slur against the Hoops' Ferdinand in the
corresponding fixture last October.

No other QPR player appeared to
ignore Terry or Cole, who testified as a character witness for his
England team-mate at the trial.

Terry, who remains the subject of a
Football Association investigation over the charges that he denies, had
been a doubt for the Loftus Road clash but recovered from an ankle injury sustained on England duty. Ferdinand himself has been hampered by a shoulder injury.

Don't fancy you much, either: Ferdinand snubbed Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness

Don't fancy you much, either: Ferdinand snubbed Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness

Fury: It had been suggested the pre-match ritual be scrapped to avoid unnecessary attention

Fury: It had been suggested the pre-match ritual be scrapped to avoid unnecessary attention

Fury: It had been suggested the pre-match ritual be scrapped to avoid unnecessary attention

QPR fans then began making derogatory chants aimed at Terry and Cole. The pair were jeered every time they touched the ball as the highly-charged west London derby got under way.

The handshakes had been abandoned in advance of the previous two encounters between the clubs.

QPR manager Mark Hughes branded the handshake row 'ridiculous' on Friday and called for the ritual to be axed.

'Is this the best way to do it I think it’s open to debate,' he said. 'Maybe something could be done after the match.

'The lead-up to the game has been ridiculous and everyone has been focusing on this one moment just prior to the game.

Bad blood: John Terry and Anton Ferdinand clashed last season

Bad blood: John Terry and Anton Ferdinand clashed last season

'When I saw the list of questions I
was likely going to answer (at his press conference) there was nine on
the handshake and one on Hillsborough. Ridiculous.'

It is not the first time Terry has been involved in a handshake row. Wayne Bridge snubbed the former England captain following allegations of an affair with the Manchester City defender's former partner.

And Luis Suarez refused Manchester United's Patrice Evra's offer of a handshake, despite the Liverpool forward being found guilty by the Football Association of racially abusing him earlier in the season.

Previous: The Premier League has been hit with handshake controversy before, namely between Wayne Bridge and terry, and Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra

Previous: The Premier League has been hit with handshake controversy before, namely between Wayne Bridge and terry, and Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra

Previous: The Premier League has been hit with handshake controversy before, namely between Wayne Bridge and terry, and Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra