The Handshake Dilemma

The Handshake Dilemma

There are few Chelsea-United matches that do not hold controversy. Be it penalty decisions, free kick decisions, sending offs, offsides, there is always a flipside to these English El Clasicos. Before Sunday’s clash, the one major predicament is the pre-match handshake, with Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole being the main characters.

After publicly backing his brother and furthermore writing spiteful tweets against Terry, Rio then lashed out at Ashley Cole, who had produced a witness statement supporting John Terry in the case. The Manchester United defender had called him ‘choc ice’ which is a slang abuse for a black person who is literally ‘white on the inside’, thus drawing comparisons to a chocolate icecream stick. Rio then deleted the tweet within a few hours but that was all it needed for the world to see it and he was fined by the FA. But Rio has still not apologised to Cole, still reiterating that he didn’t mean it to be abusive and it was ‘just a bit of banter’.

So now, there exist two different situations.

The first is Ashley Cole refusing to shake Rio’s hand for the hurtful and apparently racist comment (choc ice). On Ashley’s part, it would be totally understandable if he were to snub Rio’s hand. He WAS on the receiving end of an abusive tirade from Ferdinand and maybe does not want to warm up to his abuser.

The second is Rio Ferdinand snubbing Ashley Cole. Cole did testify against Anton Ferdinand’s allegations of John Terry making racist comments and though it was Rio himself who blew the issue out of proportion, the United defender may still hold family feud against the English leftback as his statement was key to John Terry being declared innocent in the public court and his ban limited to only 4 games. Anton snubbed Cole when Chelsea and QPR met and it would be hard to think Rio would not do the same after the blatantly disobeyed Ferguson’s order to wear ‘Kick It Out’ shirts while warming up before the match.

We cannot tell the players what to do and ultimately the handshake itself before the match makes little sense except for the advertisement of the names on the banners behind the players lining up. We believe that both players should be sportsmen and shake hands for the sake of not igniting controversy and a 5 minute segment in the post-match analysis pertaining to the issue. Or, both players come to the consensus that ironically, they won’t reach a consensus and neither offer a hand to the other. No hand offered = Neither can snub the other. Let’s just hope that this doesn’t come out to shadow the match itself, as it is due to be a spectacle.

Author’s note: 
Ash, please don’t go down to *cough* some player’s level *cough* by snubbing the handshake. Show them that you’re not as low or as cheap as that. We know you aren’t. KTBBFH!


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  1. Anonymous says

    Well said. Ashley Cole a class apart from *cough* some player *cough* He should just offer the hand and not care what Ferdinand does….
    Nice article.

  2. Anonymous says

    Well said. Ashley Cole a class apart from *cough* some player *cough* He should just offer the hand and not care what Ferdinand does….
    Nice article.

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