League suggested guard of honour for Chelsea, says QPR’s Hughes

Mark Hughes reveals the Premier League suggested QPR give Chelsea a "guard of honour" as an alternative to handshakes

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
mark hughes
Mark Hughes' Queens Park Rangers side are in 17th position The Sport Review

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Mark Hughes has revealed Queens Park Rangers snubbed the Premier League’s suggestion to give Chelsea captain John Terry and his team-mates a guard of honour at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Blues’ 31-year-old centre-half is facing a court case on 9 July after he was alleged to have racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during the 1-0 defeat at Loftus Road in October.

League officials decided to cancel the pre-match handshakes for Sunday’s London derby, as they did for FA Cup fixture in January, to avoid any prejudice to Terry’s trial.

But the QPR boss admitted the league had come up with a number of alternatives to the handshakes, which included the Hoops giving Chelsea a guard of honour before Sunday’s game.

“They were looking for solutions for the game on Sunday and the Premier League were throwing things out there,” said Hughes.

“At one stage an alternative suggested by the league was to form a guard of honour and clap Chelsea onto the pitch and I’m thinking there is absolutely no chance of that happening.”

The 48-year-old also questioned the necessity of the pre-match handshakes in modern-day football, revealing the ritual did not take place during his playing career.

“No [we didn’t have pre-match handshakes],” said Hughes.

“We didn’t have warm-ups to be perfectly honest. We used to come out two minutes before the referee blew the whistle and got on with it.

“You can understand the thinking behind it and it’s all very credible and a good idea to have it put forward.

“But the reality of it means it can be sometimes compromised and the actual thinking behind it is damaged somewhat because it becomes an issue.

“I think sometimes it’s an irritation. I don’t think all the players know that they have to go through it.

“Certainly there’s no real desire to do it but they know they have to do it. I don’t think the thinking behind it registers with too many of the players.”

Hughes also conceded that handshakes have become an issue over the seasons during his stint on the touchline.

“I’ve got history with handshakes, it drives me nuts”, said Hughes.

“I have a few guys [managers] that I’ve taken exception to about handshakes so I can’t really criticise when somebody refuses or has an issue doing it.

“There’s an unwritten rule irrespective of the result, managers always shaking hands. It always has to be with a little of integrity and forethought as to what the reasons are and why you’re actually offering your hand.”

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