This is despite anxieties over certain players refusing to shake hands with one another a succession of games in the Premier League this forthcoming September. The first match of concern is between Chelsea and QPR at Stamford Bridge on September 15th. It is though that Rangers’ defender Antonio Ferdinand will refuse to shake hands with Chelsea captain John Terry after the racist allegations made against Terry which resulted both men being embroiled in a dramatic court case over the summer.
The weekend after the West London derby is a clash between fierce rivals Liverpool and Manchester United. This rivalry was intensified even further at Old Trafford last season when Liverpool striker Luis Suarez refused to shake the hand of United defender Patrice Evra following a race row which resulted in Suarez picking up an eight match ban over the Christmas period.
In addition to this, the match between Chelsea and Manchester United on October 28th may cause even more controversy, when John Terry matches up against United defender and older brother of Anton, Rio Ferdinand. Rio is also thought to be angered by Chelsea defender Ashley Cole’s decision to testify in favour of his teammate Terry in court in July. As a consequence of this, Rio landed himself in hot water so the FA when he labelled Cole as a ‘choc-ice’ on the social networking site Twitter.
The Premier League introduced the handshake for the 2008/09 campaign as a goodwill gesture. However, it first attracted attention during a match between Chelsea and Manchester City in February 2010 when City defender Wayne Bridge refused to shake the hand of John Terry following Terry’s affair with Bridge’s wife.
Before the beginning of the season the Premier League did give its 20 member clubs the option of removing the pre-match ritual of the handshake. However, all clubs were unanimous in agreeing that it should remain.