Carlisle calls for calm approach
PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle has called for the handshake row
surrounding John Terry and Anton Ferdinand to be put in
Terry was cleared in court in July of allegations that he
racially abused the QPR defender in a match at Loftus Road last
season, though he still faces a Football Association charge over
Ferdinand refused to shake hands with either the Chelsea skipper
or Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness for his Blues
and England team-mate, ahead of Saturday’s west London derby at
Rangers captain Park Ji-sung, a former Manchester United
team-mate of Ferdinand’s brother Rio, also opted not to shake his
opposite number’s hand during the pre-match formalities.
The incident overshadowed a goalless draw and, along with
Manchester United fans’ distasteful chanting about Liverpool in the
wake of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report being released
this week, dominates the agenda after another difficult week for
York defender Carlisle feels that in the face of the
Hillsborough issue, Ferdinand and Terry’s feud is an unwanted
He told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “After all
that’s happened this week – talking about Hillsborough and a long
campaign and justice that has finally come for those families, and
the club and the city of Liverpool – it all seems quite
QPR manager Mark Hughes stated, before and after Saturday’s
game, his belief that the handshake ritual should be scrapped.
But Carlisle continued: “I’m actually an advocate of the
pre-match handshake, I think it’s a statement of intent to play the
game in a certain manner that’s befitting to a professional.
“It was brought in for the Respect campaign so it’s trying to
tie in that relationship with the officials as well, because both
teams have to shake their hands as well.
“I think it’s a good thing that’s in the game but when you do
get a matter like this, a situation that is so personal between two
people – or three people – you can’t force any human being to shake
another person’s hand.
“It becomes one of those talking points that right now football
can do without.
“When something has been so deep-rooted and has had such a
vitriolic response from both sets of supporters, I’m not surprised
there are residual feelings that bite into their professional
“But I would hope that at the conclusion of the FA inquiry, that
we can put this situation to bed from a media angle and an industry
angle and that the message that can come forth is one of education,
of how we move forward and ensure something like that doesn’t
There are fears the situation could be repeated next week when
Liverpool and United meet at Anfield, with Luis Suarez and Patrice
Evra having been embroiled in a race row of their own last
Suarez served an eight-match ban after the FA found him guilty
of racially abusing Evra, and the Uruguayan controversially refused
to shake Evra’s hand when the sides met later in the season.
Clarke is hopeful the issue will not rear its head on this
occasion and said: “We have tried our best as a union to get all
four clubs together.
“With QPR and Chelsea it’s very difficult because it’s all still
ongoing and doing something like that could prejudice any kind of
“With Manchester United and Liverpool, they as clubs have
decided that they want to try and put it to bed and they want
everybody else to help them to do that.”
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes the pre-match handshakes
should be cancelled in such instances.
He told Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday programme: “If you know
there’s going to be a problem, don’t do it (handshakes) in the
first place. It’s just a bit of political correctness.
“Get the two managers together and ask ‘are they going to do it?
No? Well let’s do away with the handshakes’.
“Even before the game everyone was ‘let’s get all the cameras on
this’ – it was built up to a massive crescendo and we know what we
were going to get – so don’t do it.
“Conversations before the game can boil over in some instances
but overall the fair play and respect side of things is promoted