Jan 28 2012 By Yann Tear
Mark Hughes Image 1
MARK Hughes says the decision not to go ahead with the conventional pre-match handshake before the FA Cup derby with Chelsea was spot on.
His players decided on Friday that they wanted to show solidarity with Anton Ferdinand by giving the handshakes a miss and Chelsea agreed on the shelving of the pre-match routine after discussions between he clubs on the morning of the match.
By doing so, Ferdinand was not left in a position of having to decide whether to shake hands with Chelsea skipper John Terry – the man accused of racially abusing him when the teams last met.
“I thought it was absolutely the correct decision,” said the QPR boss.
“I thought there was so much tension being shown to just a brief moment in time, that it was clouding the issue of the FA Cup tie we were all involved in. The fact that we took the issue out of the whole equation was exactly the right thing to do.”
Hughes continued: “Players have to make their own decision and with the group I've got, I know they wanted to support their team-mate as well and in the end it was a case of taking it out of the equation.
“In fairness, why give handshakes if they're not done with integrity?. I've got a bit of history to do with handshakes myself and if they're not done in the right spirit, why do it at all?
“I just they're an irritation. I don't know where they've come from, or who dreamed it up and why people think it's vitally important that teams do it.”
Hughes added: “I thought there was nothing wrong with what used to happen in the good old days – in my day where you just ran out and played a game of football, which happened today. I thought it was quite friendly.”