Tag Archives: handshakes

Roy Hodgson takes presents to children at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Roy Hodgson brings a little Christmas magic to children at Great Ormond Street Hospital

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UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 19 December 2012

England manager Roy Hodgson made a trip to Great Ormond Street Hospital on Tuesday, alongside coaches Gary Neville and Ray Lewington, to hand out presents from the FA.

The trio visited the Eagle ward, where children are treated for complex problems relating to their kidneys, as well as the Bear Ward, which provides inpatient care for those with heart problems.

The gifts they dispensed to those on the ward included England goodie-bags, while each ward also received a signed England shirt.

England manager Roy Hodgson visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

The England manager said it was saddening to see children struck down by such serious illnesses

Hodgson was quick to praise the efforts of those working at the hospital and parents visiting it.

‘What we're doing here is of very little importance in comparison to the work that the nurses and doctors are doing here and in comparison to what the parents are doing here too,’ he said.

‘In every ward and bedroom we have been in there has been a sick child with mothers, fathers and grandparents dedicating their time to the child and it's a very saddening experience to see people who have been struck down by quite serious kidney or heart conditions.

‘It's a good occasion for us in a sense that if we can help or cheer them up in any way then it's something we can feel happy to have done.

‘At the same time, you have a feeling of powerlessness. Apart from a few cheery words and smiles, handshakes or pats on the head, you do realise that you are powerless and the only people who can really help are the nurses and the doctors.’

England manager Roy Hodgson visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

Hodgson handed out Christmas presents along with Gary Neville and Ray Lewington

England manager Roy Hodgson visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

The trio visited the Eagle and Bear wards, and gave each a signed England shirt

He was also impressed with the
quality of care in the newly built wards, which provide patients and
families with more privacy and comfort.

They were opened earlier this year in the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building.

‘The new facilities are very
impressive and I'm glad that there are patrons about like Morgan Stanley
who can put a lot of money into this and ensure that the facilities are
here when they are needed,’ said the England manager.

England manager Roy Hodgson visits Great Ormond Street Hospital

Presents intended for the children were stolen from the hospital this week, but visits like these have helped to cheer the children up

The renowned hospital plays host to over 200,000 patient visits per year.

In their efforts to maintain the facilities and purchase the most up-to-date equipment and medication, as well as funding research, their charity raises 50million a year.

Great Ormond Street has the broadest
range of children’s healthcare specialists in the UK and gives hope to
children who are suffering from the rarest and most complex conditions.

Those at the hospital were appalled this week at the discovery that someone had stolen gifts intended for the children.

Fortunately the gifts were soon replaced by a steady stream of generous well-wishers.

Pele and Franz Beckenbauer FIFA group wound up

FIFA put Pele and Beckenbauer in charge of sexing up football… and all they came up with was a handshake

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 30 October 2012

A FIFA working group featuring Pele and Franz
Beckenbauer has been wound up after their discussions on how to make the
World Cup more exciting produced little more than a suggestion on
handshakes.

'The FIFA Task Force Football 2014, which started in
May 2011, has concluded its work following discussions on possible
reforms of the game,' said FIFA.

'Several members of this task force, including its
chairman Franz Beckenbauer, will now integrate with the FIFA Football
Committee, a permanent standing committee which will continue to present
proposals to improve the game.'

No results: Pele (left) was unable to come up with any revolutions

No results: Pele (left) was unable to come up with any revolutions

The task force, also featuring several other former
international players, was asked to find ways of making World Cup
matches less defensive after a number of lacklustre games at the 2010
edition in South Africa.

The committee made an inauspicious start when former
Germany captain and coach Beckenbauer and England 1966 World Cup winner
Bobby Charlton missed the first meeting in May last year while former
Brazil great Pele never took part.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter initially said he wanted
the task force to examine the possible return of the 'golden goal' and
the abolition of extra time after drawn matches in the knockout stages.

During this year's FIFA Congress in Budapest, Blatter
suggested Beckenbauer's group could even consider the abolition of
penalty shootouts.

Closed down: Sepp Blatter (left) had expected better from the group

Closed down: Sepp Blatter (left) had expected better from the group

Chairman Beckenbauer, however, was reluctant to suggest anything that drastic.

At the group's last meeting in February the German spoke mostly about the importance of players shaking hands.

He suggested footballers should line-up in the centre
circle and shake hands after a game as he did in his schooldays, and
that teams should take the field together for the second half.

The task force put forward a proposal that teams be
allowed to make a fourth substitute during extra time but this was
turned down in March by the International Football Association Board
(IFAB), the sport's rule-making body.

Another suggestion to abolish the so-called triple
punishment – where a player who gives away a penalty is also sent off
and automatically suspended for the next match – was put on hold by the
IFAB.

Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra shake hands at Liverpool v Manchester United

Suarez and Evra end bad blood with handshake ahead of Liverpool v Manchester United clash

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UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 23 September 2012

Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra put their past problems to one side to shake hands ahead of the Liverpool v Manchester United match.

On an emotional afternoon at Anfield, the pair shook during the usual pre-match greetings between opposing teams. It triggered big cheers from fans inside the ground.

It was a welcome change after Suarez snubbed Evra's offer of a handshake during the clash at Old Trafford in February.

Face to face: Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez shook hands ahead of the match

Face to face: Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez shook hands ahead of the match

Key moment: Patrice Evra (centre) and Luis Suarez (right) shake hands at Anfield

Key moment: Patrice Evra (centre) and Luis Suarez (right) shake hands at Anfield

Suarez was banned by the Football Association for eight matches for racially abusing Evra during a previous meeting at Anfield.

But the two players exchanged a greeting ahead of the match, which was dominated by the two clubs' tributes to the victims of Hillsborough in light of the damning cover-up of the disaster 23 years ago.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson decided against appointing Evra as his captain for the match despite the absence of regular skipper Nemanja Vidic through injury.

The handshakes were part of a well
co-ordinated series of pre-match events aimed at ensuring the first
Liverpool home game since that damning judgement on the Hillsborough
tragedy was delivered passed off peacefully.

No deal: The pair did not shake when Man United met Liverpool in February

No deal: The pair did not shake when Man United met Liverpool in February

No deal: Evra is angry

Both teams emerged wearing tracksuits bearing the number 96, while United legend Sir Bobby Charlton presented flowers to Liverpool counterpart Ian Rush before respective skippers Steven Gerrard and Ryan Giggs released 96 red balloons.

A mosaic was also displayed around three sides of the ground during the traditional playing of 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

Steven Gerrard tells Luis Suarez to shake hands with Patrice Evra

Make peace! Gerrard tells Suarez to shake hands with Evra to set tone for United game

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UPDATED:

21:01 GMT, 22 September 2012

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will appeal to striker Luis Suarez to shake the hand of Manchester United adversary Patrice Evra and help prevent 'Hillsborough' day at Anfield being overshadowed by bad blood between supporters of the two clubs.

Gerrard, whose 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley was among 96 victims in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy, believes a conciliatory gesture between Suarez and Evra – who clashed in a racism controversy last season – will set the right tone for a highly charged game that will be beamed around the world.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that 'Evra definitely plays', and he insisted: 'United have no problems with the handshakes.'

History: Patrice Evra (right) and Luis Suarez (left) clash at Anfield last October

History: Patrice Evra (right) and Luis Suarez (left) clash at Anfield last October

The feud continues: Suarez snubs Evra's hand at Old Trafford in February

The feud continues: Suarez snubs Evra's hand at Old Trafford in February

When Gerrard was asked if he would speak personally to Suarez about the pre-match ritual, he was unequivocal. 'Yes,' said the 32-year-old Anfield skipper. 'My advice to him would be to shake hands and move on. Suarez will make his own decision, of course. But I'd like to think he would want to move on himself.

'Those two players could be the key. The handshakes are going to be at the beginning of the game and they've got a responsibility to start the day off on a good note.'

The clubs and police forces from both cities have been working flat out to ensure an emotional occasion is not overshadowed by provocative chanting, either towards the 1958 Munich air crash, which killed eight United players among the 23 victims, or Hillsborough.

'If it's a fantastic match, if there is a handshake before the game and there's no vile chanting, it will be a great advert to everyone around the world,' added Gerrard. 'There are going to be millions watching so it's a great opportunity to send out the right message from the fans, from the players and from the game itself.'

Big day ahead: Steven Gerrard (left) in training ahead of the match on Sunday

Big day ahead: Steven Gerrard (left) in training ahead of the match on Sunday

Decision to make: Suarez at Melwood

Decision to make: Suarez at Melwood

It is the first fixture at Anfield since the report into the disaster confirmed that Liverpool fans were not to blame. But Suarez and Evra's simmering feud last year led to the Uruguay striker being banned for eight matches after he admitted saying 'Negrito' to the United player, a word he claimed was not meant in a hostile context.

Liverpool officials believe Suarez is prepared to shake Evra's hand before kick-off but Gerrard does not want to take any chances, given that the forward gave a similar impression before the fixture in February only to perform a U-turn and walk past Evra.

If Suarez defies the wishes of his club and his captain, there will be questions about his future given the strength of feeling from Liverpool's American owners that there must be closure after last season's PR disaster.

Ferguson has written a letter to United supporters entering Anfield today while Merseyside Police have pledged a zero-tolerance policy towards fans who make offensive chants or gestures.

Emotional day: Sunday's match will be the first at Anfield since the explosive revelations on the Hillsborough disaster were revealed earlier this week

Emotional day: Sunday's match will be the first at Anfield since the explosive revelations on the Hillsborough disaster were revealed earlier this week

Captains Gerrard and Nemanja Vidic will release 96 red balloons to commemorate the Hillsborough victims while the crowd, which will include Liverpool's former manager Kenny Dalglish, will also see United ambassador Sir Bobby Charlton lay a wreath. A fans' mosaic at the stadium will promote 'Justice for the 96'.

Chelsea and QPR hit by injury problems

Chelsea and QPR hit by injury problems after ferocious west London derby

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UPDATED:

15:15 GMT, 16 September 2012

Chelsea and QPR moved from counting handshakes to counting the cost of a predictably fiery west London derby.

Anton Ferdinand's pre-match snub of John Terry and Ashley Cole set the tone for Saturday's goalless Barclays Premier League draw at Loftus Road, which saw rival players snap into each other from the first whistle.

Ironically, Terry and Ferdinand were among the walking wounded at the final whistle, with both having required treatment in the closing stages.

Chelsea captain Terry typically elected to play on after pulling up with a knee injury, something manager Roberto Di Matteo was keen to play down ahead of his side's Champions League opener against Juventus on Wednesday.

Injury concern: Ferdinand picked up a knock on Saturday

Injury concern: Ferdinand picked up a knock on Saturday

'It doesn't look like we have any major problems,' Di Matteo said.

'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.'

Ferdinand hobbled off in the dying seconds with what looked like a hamstring injury but QPR boss Mark Hughes was more concerned about problems picked up by Andrew Johnson and Fabio.

Both had to be substituted in the first half with respective knee and hamstring complaints and face scans to determine the extent of the damage.

Terry – who shook off an ankle problem to start on Saturday – was not Chelsea's only injury concern, with John Obi Mikel having also taken a knock in the back.

The Blues can ill-afford either to be missing as they open the defence of their European crown this week.

Crocked: Andy Johnson (left) picked up a knee injury

Crocked: Andy Johnson (left) picked up a knee injury

They can also ill-afford Fernando Torres to go AWOL in the manner he did on Saturday, the striker producing a performance as bad as any since his 50million move from Liverpool before storming down the tunnel upon being substituted.

Di Matteo refused to criticise the petulance of Torres, who got almost no change out of Ferdinand and Ryan Nelsen all afternoon.

Hughes, meanwhile, hailed the performance of both his centre-halves, Ferdinand for coping with the added pressure of his reunion with Terry and Cole, and Nelsen for shrugging off a gruelling trip back from New Zealand just 48 hours earlier following the international break.

'I thought Anton was excellent alongside Ryan Nelsen given he (Nelsen) had flown halfway around the world and had only one training session before the game,' Hughes said.

The Rangers boss also defended his predictable – but nevertheless controversial – decision to start Julio Cesar ahead of Rob Green.

England goalkeeper Green found himself axed after just three games for his new club and Hughes said: 'I spoke to him this week and told him my intention.

'It's difficult for Rob because we have
put him in a situation that he didn't feel he would be put under and we
are all very aware of that.

Off the pace: Torres (right) was unimpressive for Chelsea

Off the pace: Torres (right) was unimpressive for Chelsea

'It wasn't something that was pre-meditated, it wasn't a case of getting Rob in knowing we were going to bring Julio into the club. But it progressed and we had the opportunity to bring in one of the top keepers in the world.

'I think everybody saw in the manner of his performance today, it was the right decision to bring him into the team.'

The game proved to be one for goalkeepers and defenders as QPR remained winless – and in the relegation zone – while Chelsea dropped their first points of the season but held on to top spot.

Neither side deserved to emerge victorious, although either might have done had Eden Hazard, Bobby Zamora or Park Ji-Sung – who also snubbed a handshake with Terry – produced better finishing.

Chelsea also saw two decent penalty shouts rejected but they will be satisfied at least by the clean sheet given the way they were torn apart by Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup last time out.

Terry missed that game and he could miss more to come if the current Football Association charge against him sticks.

With Saturday's match out of the way, attention will slowly begin to turn to his upcoming hearing – which reportedly begins a next Monday.

Terry was this summer cleared in court of racially abusing Ferdinand during last October's QPR-Chelsea game and he denies the similar FA charge against him.

John Terry and Anton Ferdinand handshake snub

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

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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

John Terry and Anton Ferdinand latest: QPR and Chelsea in discussions about pre-match handshake

QPR and Chelsea in handshake talks with Anton ready to snub JT and Cole

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UPDATED:

12:15 GMT, 13 September 2012

QPR and Chelsea are in talks about how to handle the pre-match handshake at this weekend's west London derby.

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

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 is reportedly winning his battle with an ankle injury sustained on England duty.

Bad blood: John Terry and Anton Ferdinand clashed last season

Bad blood: John Terry and Anton Ferdinand clashed last season

Ferdinand is also recovering well after a shoulder injury, meaning the defenders are on course to meet for the first time since the Chelsea captain's race trial in July.

The match could also involve Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole – another recovering from injury – following his appearance as a character witness for Terry.

Anton Ferdinand

Ashley Cole

Snub: Both Anton and Rio Ferdinand are set to refuse to shake Ashley Cole's hand

And Sportsmail understand
that both Anton and Rio Ferdinand intend on snubbing the hand of the
Chelsea left back after they believe they were betrayed by Cole when he
agreed to speak as a defence witness for Terry in his successful court
battle against the charge that he racially abused Anton last season.

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

It is understood that the Hoops are liaising with Chelsea on how to approach Saturday's fixture and plan to make an announcement on the matter before Mark Hughes' pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.

Regardless of the tension, the Premier League has no plans to cancel the pre-match handshakes, with a spokesperson saying: 'We are expecting the handshakes to go forward.'

It is understood that the body has not been involved in the ongoing talks between the clubs and does not expect to be approached about cancelling the handshake as there is no active legal case.

Euro 2012: Ian Ladyman"s diary: Brendan Rodgers cancels Spain spying mission

Ian Ladyman's Euro diary: Rodgers cancels Spain spying mission

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UPDATED:

00:20 GMT, 13 June 2012

Brendan Rodgers planned to spend three days observing Spain training this week but cancelled his trip when he got the Liverpool job. Shame, he could have smuggled Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso back to Anfield in his suitcase.

No Spanish mission: Brendan Rodgers canceled a trip to watch Spain train

No Spanish mission: Brendan Rodgers canceled a trip to watch Spain train

Can't get off the ground

The travel problems in Ukraine continue to worsen. Flights from Kiev to Lviv — where Portugal face Denmark — were delayed by 10 hours. Expect more empty seats at both today’s Group B matches.

Showing their true colour

The victorious Ukraine team looked like they were being interviewed by their fans after Monday’s game. It was in fact a gaggle of Ukrainian journalists all dressed in bright yellow replica shirts. They weren’t wearing ties either!

Press pack: The Ukraine journalists wore replica shirts to interview players

Press pack: The Ukraine journalists wore replica shirts to interview players

Real courage

Brave Oscar Knox, who is a three-year-old cancer sufferer from Belfast, has become a star back home after a picture of him was posted on Twitter before Sunday’s Ireland game against Croatia. It said simply: ‘My Ma thinks I’ll be in bed early.’

Let's go outside

It's no surprise that everybody is getting excited in Poland at the moment.
However, surely the couple who were spotted ‘making love’ on a river bank near Warsaw’s National Stadium at 7pm last night could have at least waited until it had gone dark. Who said there is no love left in the beautiful game

A big thumbs up for…

The Swedes. They may have lost on Monday and their captain may hate them all. But there were smiles, handshakes and interviews available for the English press at their training ground yesterday. Plus, there was cake.

Good sports: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the rest of the Sweden team were all happy to speak to the press

Good sports: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the rest of the Sweden team were all happy to speak to the press

A big thumbs down for…

The German press who clearly haven’t gotten over Bayern Munich’s failure to win the Champions League final on their own ground last month. Take this headline in Bild yesterday: ‘England Play as Ugly as Chelsea.’ Miaow!

Play of the day

They were under some serious pressure following their dismal defeat by Russia. So, the Czechs flew out of the blocks and Tomas Hubschman’s through pass for Petr Jiracek to score in the third minute against Greece was an absolute beauty.

Quote of the day

'I hope there isn’t one in the team.'
Antonio Cassano’s reaction to claims in the Italian press that there are two secret homosexuals in Italy’s squad. He later said sorry for the remark.

Anton Ferdinand will ignore any crowd abuse at Chelsea

QPR's Ferdinand will not be shaken by crowd abuse as he prepares to face Chelsea

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UPDATED:

14:59 GMT, 27 April 2012

QPR defender Anton Ferdinand will be unmoved by any Chelsea fans who abuse him from the stands as the two sides meet in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

The game will be Ferdinand's first at Stamford Bridge since accusations he suffered racial abuse from Chelsea skipper John Terry last October, who now faces a court case in July to answer those allegations. Terry denies the charges.

Ferdinand, 27, said he was more interested in securing a positive result as QPR look to remain in the top flight, rather than listen to any jeers from the home crowd.

Calm: Anton Ferdinand will get on with his job

Calm: Anton Ferdinand will get on with his job

'There is a big rivalry between the two clubs anyway but, with everything that has happened, I know there will be some fans targeting me,' he told London Evening Standard Sport.

'The Chelsea fans believe what they want to believe. They have their own view on what's gone on and if they are going to give me stick, that's their problem.

'All I can say is that it won't upset my game. If they think that's what's going to happen, then they have got another thing coming.'

The Football Association cancelled the usual pre-match handshakes before the two sides met in the FA Cup back in January and the Premier League have taken the same measures ahead of Sunday afternoon's clash but Ferdinand does not see the pre-match ritual as an essential part of football and will treat the match the same as any other.

Row: Ferdinand and John Terry during the team's October meeting

Row: Ferdinand and John Terry during the team's October meeting

'My view is whether you shake hands with a player before or after the game doesn't really matter to me. It is about playing football,' he said.

'My team-mates have said nothing to me about it because we are just treating it as a normal game. It is not about me or the current situation, it is about QPR and staying in the division.

'It is not for me to talk endlessly about handshakes – what matters is what happens in the course of 90 minutes.'

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo said Chelsea 'respected' the Premier League decision to scrap the handshakes on Sunday.

But he was against abandoning the ritual altogether, adding: 'To show respect to your opposition is a good thing, so I'm not generally against it.'

Di Matteo revealed he would remind his players of their responsibilities ahead of a derby match that was mired in controversy in October's reverse fixture.

He said: 'I always speak to my players. They will be focused on Sunday to try to win the game. The rest is for other people to worry about.

'We have to channel our energies to win the football match – that's all.'

Di Matteo had no concerns about the state of mind of Terry, who was sent off in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final triumph in Barcelona, ruling him out of the final.

'I don't think that's going to influence him,' Di Matteo said.

Tribulations: Terry will be ready to face QPR

Tribulations: Terry will be ready to face QPR

'He's got a few years under his belt now and has dealt with setbacks before. He'll be very good.'

QPR manager Mark Hughes was pleased that the game would not become lost amongst the handshake debate following the decision to cancel the pre-match routine.

He insisted his team had not even thought about the potential storm that could have been caused with players refusing to shake hands and is more focused on beating QPR's local rivals and boosting their Premier League survival hopes.

He said: 'The decision was made last night and it takes all the build-up before the game out of the equation, I think that is what we were conscious of before the (FA) cup game.

'The game itself was a little bit of a damp squib because of what occurred before the actual game with the discussions and debate about who is going to shake who else's hand so the game itself was like a side issue. I don't think that is correct and I'm glad the decision is out of the way now.

Struggle: QPR are fighting against relegation

Struggle: QPR are fighting against relegation

'Our focus was always on the game anyway and the decision came through last night, it was my intention to mention it briefly this morning but I didn't have to because up to this point we haven't discussed it at any length because it hasn't been on our radar or been our focus this week.'

Hughes also revealed Ferdinand had been instructed by his lawyers he would not have been allowed to take part in the handshakes even if they had remained as part of the build-up to the match.

'We knew that Anton had been told that he wouldn't be allowed to shake hands so we understood that part of it and obviously discussions between ourselves, Chelsea and the Premier League were ongoing but I think they have come up wit the right decision,' he said.

'From our point of view we have just been focussing on preparing for a very important game and the wind has been taken out of people's sails regarding the handshake issue.'

SIX NATIONS 2012: Stuart Lancaster puts final seal on England claims

The house of Stuart! Lancaster puts final seal on his England claims

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 18 March 2012

Whatever happens in the coming days, Stuart Lancaster will never forget the moments immediately after the final whistle at Twickenham on Saturday, when he was overwhelmed by goodwill.

First came the handshakes and back slaps from the players who had delivered such a resoundingly positive footnote to his hands-on job application with a victory which confirmed England’s place as RBS Six Nations runners-up to Wales.

Then came the adulation from the stands as the home supporters gave their own resounding seal of approval following a triumph founded on formidable pack power in the scrum.

Finally, there was an ovation at the after-match dinner as those closest to the inner sanctum offered their own warm tribute.

Try time: Ben Youngs is mobbed after scoring England's second try

Try time: Ben Youngs is mobbed after scoring England's second try

For Lancaster, what will have resonated the most was the seemingly heartfelt affection from the men whom he has shaped into an effective Test team from the wreckage of the World Cup.

And, for someone who had honed his coaching career in the foothills of the sport, away from the bright lights, there was deep satisfaction at having guided his country to a fine win in their own stadium. Even if the RFU decide in their infinite wisdom to pull a rabbit from a hat and appoint another candidate, this occasion will be etched in the memory.

‘For me personally, it was a very special moment to be able to coach England at Twickenham and get a win,’ said Lancaster. ‘In the context of our evolution, to put in a performance like that was fantastic. It was a proud coaching moment.’

The performance in question was one that showed England have developed various methods of winning. This time, on a wet day, there was little of the explosive counter-attacking which characterised their win in Paris, and they did not fall back on charge downs, as they had at Murrayfield and in Rome. This time, the scrum won the day, with one stark statistic summing up the mis-match.

Of 12 penalties conceded by Ireland, nine came from the scrum. They were annihilated by a home unit anchored by Dan Cole and Alex Corbisiero.

Fronting up: Dan Cole (left), Dylan Hartley (centre) and Alex Corbisiero (right)

Fronting up: Dan Cole (left), Dylan Hartley (centre) and Alex Corbisiero (right)

Owen Farrell feasted on the fruits of the forwards’ labours with six penalty kicks and a conversion of the inevitable penalty try, which came just before the hour. Later, Ben Youngs signalled his personal emergence from a period of injury and lost form with an astute tap-and-go try on the left from a close-range penalty which stemmed from yet another scrum demolition.

And at No 8, Ben Morgan delivered another marauding display of ball carrying which earned him man-of-the-match recognition to complete an outstanding first championship campaign.

Lancaster entrusted Morgan and other rookies with the keys to his own future and they repaid him in style over the course of five matches which yielded four wins and a narrow loss at home to Wales.

Without even knowing whether he would have any direct involvement, the coach struck an optimistic note about what lies ahead for the national team, saying: ‘There is so much more to come. There is a pipeline of talented players in the country who sit beneath this, who I’ve worked with over the last few years.’

Despite the agonising near-miss nature of the defeat by Wales, who went on to claim a clean sweep for the third time in eight seasons, Lancaster insisted he had not succumbed to regrets. Instead, he suggested that the long-term building work carried out across the border by Warren Gatland should provide a blueprint for English prosperity, too.

The house of Stuart: Brad Barritt (left) and Tom Croft (right) celebrate with Stuart Lancaster

The house of Stuart: Brad Barritt (left) and Tom Croft (right) celebrate with Stuart Lancaster

‘It was their turn, it was their time,’ he said of the Grand Slam winners. ‘A couple of years ago, they went through a period as a young side where they won two and lost nine, but they kept the faith with the young players and with the coaching team, and they’ve been rewarded for that.

‘They deserve it. I wouldn’t necessarily say we’ve chosen to follow their example, but there is a lot to be gained by giving young players experience if you trust them, and we trust ours.’

For Youngs, this was a step towards redemption after a grim year which began with a bad night in Dublin last March. The Leicester scrum-half came on for Lee Dickson, who had endured a host of early indignities in the rain, and was lively enough and clinical enough with his try to raise hopes that he can rediscover his elusive spark.

All the pent-up angst came out in the celebration when he scored and Youngs said: ‘It meant a lot to me. It’s part of the job in sport that you’re going to have your highs and your lows. I just had to be patient.’

Back with a bang: Youngs put his recent poor form behind him

Back with a bang: Youngs put his recent poor form behind him

England’s players will be awaiting updates on the coaching situation with keen interest.

Youngs summed up their response to Lancaster’s overhaul, saying: ‘Everyone has bought into the cultures and philosophies Stuart, Graham (Rowntree) and Faz (Andy Farrell) have brought in.

‘You work hard for each other, you work hard for yourself to be the best, everyone is pulling their weight.

‘Stuart is really honest and hard-working and the coaching team around him have been fantastic. Everyone will go back to their clubs really excited about when we next meet up. We know we’re heading in the right direction.’

Five months ago, England slunk home to Heathrow after a dismal World Cup. On Saturday, they departed the Twickenham pitch to raucous acclaim.

They have reconnected with the people and restored their own self-esteem. Now it just remains for the RFU to let the man who has initiated the revival to continue his good work.

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