Suarez saga shows it’s time to give handshake the flick

Luke Doherty Roar Guru

By Luke Doherty, Luke Doherty is a Roar Guru

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    Let’s be honest. Expecting Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez to shake hands so soon after their recent bad blood was always going to end badly. It took less than two minutes on the pitch together for the rivals to re-ignite their feud.

    Evra was prepared to shake the Liverpool striker’s hand, but Suarez was having none of it. The football world had waited all week to see how the moment would play out, and Evra was livid at the snub. 

    He grabbed at his rival’s arm, as teammates moved quickly to settle the situation.

    Then, inside the first 30 seconds of the match, Suarez chased a ball that was a little too far in front of him and Evra launched into a reckless challenge.

    Instead of collecting Suarez he collided heavily with teammate Rio Ferdinand, who collapsed to the ground in agony.

    It was a red mist moment.

    Add to that a reported scuffle in the tunnel at half time, and then Evra’s deliberate celebrations right in front of Suarez after the game, and you have a whole lot of friction in the current season, and an ugly outing for football in the history books.

    The two managers didn’t cover themselves in glory either. Sir Alex Ferguson labelled Suarez a disgrace, and Kenny Dalglish claimed he didn’t see the handshake snub before questioning whether reporters had the right to ask him about it.

    Ugly, ugly, ugly all round.

    Despite all of the drama, just about everyone in Manchester colours claimed the situation could’ve been avoided if Suarez and Evra had buried the hatchet before kick-off.

    But was that ever really going to happen?

    On one side you have Evra, who feels he was racially abused by Suarez when the pair last played against each other in the Premier League. It’s an unacceptable act anywhere from the football field to the street. Evra has every right to feel annoyed, hurt and just about any other emotion. He should also be commended for trying to let proceedings go as planned.

    It’s a complicated situation though. On the other side you have Suarez who denies ever racially abusing Evra. He has been backed up by a club who also denies he abused the Frenchman. 

    Say what you will about cultural differences, and what was or wasn’t said during their last meeting, but the fall-out was predictable. It was a confrontation between two men, and the evidence boiled down to one’s word against another.

    The outcome was that Suarez served eight matches and had his reputation ripped to shreds. Why then would you make these two try and shake hands in front of the world?

    The pre-game handshake should’ve been cancelled.

    Recently, officials decided to get rid of the tradition when Chelsea took on Queens Park Rangers. Chelsea captain John Terry had been accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

    It was the right move to avoid the handshake then, and it would’ve been the right move at the weekend. Would you really miss the handshake if it was binned for good? 

    Yes, Suarez should’ve extended his hand. It was a silly response that inflamed things past the point of common sense. But putting both men in that situation in the first place was equally ridiculous.

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    The Crowd Says (36)

    • Roar Guru

      February 13th 2012 @ 7:33am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2012 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      So because of a couple of professional players in England act like spoilt kids, the football world should stop the noble tradition of shaking hands before the game? Wow – talk about an over-reaction and the wrong message.

      As one of the world’s most famous footballers Tweeted last night (his use of capital letters):

      “Shaking of hands before n after games shouldn’t be eradicated.It’s a GLOBAL game that teaches our CHILDREN RESPECT to OFFICIALS and PLAYERS” (Tim Cahill, Everton & Australia)

      Totally agree with Tim and, in my opinion, shaking hands before the game is one of the (many) things that separates Football from other sports that prefer the more neanderthal push & shove mock machismo before the game.

      • February 13th 2012 @ 8:49am
        UK Steve said | February 13th 2012 @ 8:49am | ! Report

        FIUL – the bottom line is, the compulsory (almost) shaking of hands is phoney. Like Gary Neville was saying at half-time of that match, if I don’t like a player then I don’t want to shake his hand before a match. If players really want to shake hands, then they can do it in the tunnel.

        Tim Cahlll is blowing hot air, because as soon as the game starts, most soccer players treat the officials with as much disrespect as they can muster.

        • Roar Guru

          February 13th 2012 @ 9:44am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | February 13th 2012 @ 9:44am | ! Report

          UK Steve

          Not sure about you but, in my working life, I reckon 50% of my handshakes have been phoney. I was taught it was impolite and poor form to refuse the hand of friendship from even of your most ardent enemy.

          Recently, at a social function, I had the misfortune to be introduced to LIB MP, Kevin Andrews, who has views about refugees & immigration that make me feel ill. But, when Andrews offered his hand in friendship, of course, I reciprocated.

      • February 13th 2012 @ 8:56am
        Midfielder said | February 13th 2012 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        What Fuss said

        • February 13th 2012 @ 9:14am
          Stevo said | February 13th 2012 @ 9:14am | ! Report


      • February 13th 2012 @ 9:37am
        TomC said | February 13th 2012 @ 9:37am | ! Report


      • February 13th 2012 @ 9:59am
        CrossIT said | February 13th 2012 @ 9:59am | ! Report

        Teaches Children to respect officials? Please explain because I don’t know how many times I saw players screaming at officials, jumping up & down and throwing tantrums. It’s a farce, you walk along a stupid congo line and hi five the other guy, “respect brother”.

        I personally believe it would be more worthwhile for players to shake hands after a match, it would force the player to show respect by making the effort to walk over have a chat and actually shake hands & build somewhat of a relationship, rather then the silly congo line where most players don’t even look the other in the eye. (This is going a bit Dr Phil so I’ll stop here)

        Last night had nothing to do with respecting officials & players, it was two blokes who didn’t like each other and didn’t want to shake each others hand, “Mountain out of a molehill” stuff. I mean he didn’t punch his lights out, which I would of done to John Terry.

        • Roar Guru

          February 13th 2012 @ 10:31am
          Roarchild said | February 13th 2012 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          Sometimes the hand shakes are a bit of a farce but at least that is a small bastige of decency.

          Without the hand shake then Evra would never have got the opportunity to extend his hand/ All the focus has been on Suarez rejecting it but that Evra offered it is a good story.

          • February 13th 2012 @ 10:57am
            CrossIT said | February 13th 2012 @ 10:57am | ! Report

            Yeah I agree at least he went the 50% – haha wow we are really spliting hairs here.

    • February 13th 2012 @ 8:15am
      Kasey said | February 13th 2012 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Have to agree with you Fuss..heck of an over reaction here. I was at my local comp on the weekend..SA Federation Cup: Para Hills Knights vs White City Woodville(formerly Beograd) and I noticed that it is now a requirement that the players 3 tiers below the HAL line up and then shake hands with each other and the officials prior to the commencement of hostilities. Bravo I say. Long may it continue. Anything that promotes erspect to the oft maligned officials and of course to your opponent should be encouraged I say.

    • February 13th 2012 @ 8:23am
      Kasey said | February 13th 2012 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      That said, it is another disgraceful episode in the life of one of my most disliked footballers. From his antics at the World Cup in South Africa(especially that handball on the line URU v Ghana) to his behaviour in England wrt Evra, I’m glad I’m not a scouser and thus obligted by loyalty to my team to try to like the bloke.

      • February 13th 2012 @ 1:39pm
        King Of Swing said | February 13th 2012 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

        Dont forget the time he tried to bite an opposition player while playing for Ajax.

        • February 13th 2012 @ 1:41pm
          Kasey said | February 13th 2012 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          KoS: That’s the first time I’ve heard that one. Was the bitee black? Even if not, if your allegation is true, then its yet another reason to dislike this ‘orrible human being.

    • February 13th 2012 @ 8:23am
      Brendan said | February 13th 2012 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      Way off the mark here Luke. The handshake is a important gesture and teaches all kids an important lesson.

      What about instead we hand Suarez another couple of weeks for unsportsmans like conduct. Have lost all respect for this tosser

    • Roar Guru

      February 13th 2012 @ 8:27am
      The Cattery said | February 13th 2012 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      The pre-game handshake is a nice gesture – but it’s sort of a little bit too nice.

      • February 13th 2012 @ 8:30am
        Kasey said | February 13th 2012 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        Too nice?? I’m not sure I follow you Cat. In a sport that regularly brings together players, officials and fans from such diverse back grounds from around the globe, how can a gesture like this be undervalued?

        • Roar Guru

          February 13th 2012 @ 10:09am
          The Cattery said | February 13th 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          As someone said elsewhere, an even better gesture is to show a bit more respect to refs on the field – the pre-game gesture is nice, that’s it, don’t read too much more into it – when the whistle blows – the competing players will try to do each other over at every opportunity – being ultra-competitive doesn’t always translate to being nice while the game is on – but if winners and losers can show good sportsmanship at the end of the game – that strikes me as a more meaningful gesture.

    • Roar Guru

      February 13th 2012 @ 9:30am
      Luke Doherty said | February 13th 2012 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      I agree that it does play an important part in educating kids about respect for an opponent and the game etc, but the handshake snub (that was always likely to happen) was the cause of more scenes that were far worse for the game. Not good for kids to see that and then repeat on the weekend – so the simple solution yesterday would’ve been to bin the handshake.

      • February 13th 2012 @ 9:39am
        TomC said | February 13th 2012 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        We should be able to trust highly paid professional athletes to be able to shake hands with their opponents.

        The fact that Suarez could not is a reflection on him, not on the tradition.

        The simple solution is to come down hard on Suarez. This is no one’s fault but his.

        • February 13th 2012 @ 10:13am
          Axelv said | February 13th 2012 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          Don’t forget Evra’s reaction, not as much would be made of it if he didn’t grab Suarez’s arm.

          • February 13th 2012 @ 11:47am
            TomC said | February 13th 2012 @ 11:47am | ! Report

            I think he was entitled to react the way he did to the handshake, personally.

            Rubbing it in at the end was definitely not a good look though. Just reinforced the image that this was two spoilt children fighting over nothing.

            The real shame is that this might have a serious impact on how people perceive on-field racism. Players who are genuinely the victim of racist taunts will surely be less likely to come forward for fear that they’ll find themselves in a similar fiasco, or that they’ll be associated with Evra’s less than dignified display.

        • February 13th 2012 @ 10:27am
          Axelv said | February 13th 2012 @ 10:27am | ! Report

          Or rub it in later on…

      • February 13th 2012 @ 11:37pm
        apaway said | February 13th 2012 @ 11:37pm | ! Report

        Perhaps, Luke, but the better solution would have been for Suarez to shake Evra’s hand, not apologise for not doing so after the fact. Or perhaps for both players to have been stood down by their respective managers for the game.

        I notice that UFC fighters and boxers generally shake hands or touch gloves before a contest, spend the next x number of rounds beating the tripe out of each other, then shake and hug it out afterwards.

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