Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, Tells Abused Players To Handshake And 'Just Play A Game'

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Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has advised players subjected to any form of abuse to "just play a game".

Scudamore is reported as saying: "A handshake says, 'Whatever crap's gone on before now and whatever crap will go on after this game is over.' Just play a game."

He is eager for QPR's Anton Ferdinand and Chelsea's John Terry to shake hands and settle their differences after the October flashpoint between the two.

Chelsea defender Terry ill go on trial in July after he was reported to the police for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand at Loftus Road in October.

Scudamore's comments come in a season which has seen English football become sullied by a series of racism-related incidents, with the symbol of the handshake subsequently dismissed as superfluous by many pundits.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches and fined £40,000 for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra in the Anfield fixture between the two clubs, and Liverpool's behaviour and support of Suarez was widely criticised by the footballing public.

Suarez then refused to shake Evra's hand in the corresponding fixture at Old Trafford in February, and apologised for his conduct the following day.

The Associated Press reporter tweeted Scudamore's quotes:


Rob Harris
EPL's Scudamore:"Handshake..says, 'Whatever craps gone on before now & whatever crap will go on after this game is over'.. just play a game"

Last season Samir Nasri refused to shake hands with ex-Arsenal team-mate William Gallas during the north London derby, and the previous season Wayne Bridge avoided Terry when Manchester City visited Stamford Bridge.

A number of football fans have also been arrested for racist outbursts this campaign. Student Liam Stacey stands accused of mocking Fabrice Muamba after he suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday night on Twitter.

He was reported to the police by a number of users, including ex-footballer Stan Collymore, who has also suffered similar abuse on the social networking site.

Manchester City and England right-back Micah Richards meanwhile closed his Twitter account due to the volume of similar abuse he received.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter also suggested in November if a player is the victim of a racist slur, he should settle differences by shaking hands with his perpetrator at the end of the game. He later apologised for his comments, but had already attracted much opprobrium for his comments.

Scudamore has been embroiled in controversy before in English football.

He came under fire in 2007 for his handling of the Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano transfer affair, when an independent tribunal rejected the deduction of points from West Ham United (who would have been relegated) in favour of a record £5.5m fine.

In 2008, Scudamore was a vocal advocate of Premier League teams playing an additional game per season abroad, in the Far East, the United States and Australia. The intention was for "the 39th game" to come into action in the 2010/2011 season, but the proposal was greeted with widespread derision. Even Blatter dismissed it as "an abuse of association football".

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