Martinez says scrap pre-match handshake

Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez
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ROBERTO Martinez has called for the ‘Respect’ handshake before Premier League matches to be scrapped.

The pre-match custom of both sides shaking hands has hit the headlines again recently, with Anton Ferdinand refusing to acknowledge John Terry and Ashley Cole at the weekend following the well-publicised race trial over the summer.

This weekend, there could be more fireworks with Liverpool entertaining Manchester United, and a reunion between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez.

And Martinez believes the time has come to take the attention away from the ‘will-they, won’t they’ handshakes – and concentrate on the football.

“We have been talking about the handshake now for the past couple of seasons, and it only seems to provide an opportunity to highlight bad issues,” Martinez told the Observer.

“And when that is the case, maybe we shouldn’t put so much emphasis on the handshake.

“I actually think that the respect that exists between rival players and rival clubs throughout the league is better than any other league across the world. For whatever reason, we have drawn attention to a little gesture at the beginning of a game that I don’t think is helping.”

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