Roberto Di Matteo: We have a duty to global viewers

Chelsea manager insists Terry will not be fazed one iota by handshake furore

The Chelsea manager, Roberto Di Matteo, promised the club would "set a positive standard" by following the Premier League protocol after it was confirmed last night that the handshake before today's game at Queen's Park Rangers will go ahead.

Before the clubs last played in April, the handshake was suspended. This was following dialogue between the Premier League and the two clubs and was because of a fear of prejudicing John Terry's pending trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand – at which he was cleared – during a game between the two sides at Loftus Road last year.

Terry is to face a Football Association hearing on the issue later this month, but the planned handshake will go ahead this afternoon. "There has been dialogue between the Premier League, Queen's Park Rangers and Chelsea in relation to tomorrow's match between the two clubs," an official league statement read. "All parties understand and acknowledge that the pre-match handshake will go ahead as part of the normal pre-match activity."

A relaxed and focused Di Matteo said earlier that Chelsea would proceed with the handshake in the traditional manner: "From our point of view, we are going to respect the rules and the protocol in place with the Premier League and set a positive standard to the millions of people who are going to watch us around the world, and make sure people focus on the football side rather than anything else."

"It is in place, so we respect it," Di Matteo added. "The game would still go on if it was not in place. It just gives a good outlook to the people that there is one beforehand, and everybody will focus on the game."

Di Matteo discussed the issue with Queen's Park Rangers' manager, Mark Hughes, at a recent Premier League managers' meeting, and does not expect the players to provide an unnecessary distraction.

"I know Sparky very well and we touch base every now and again and speak," he said. "Hopefully, everybody will focus on football [today] and move on. That's the most important aspect. The Premier League is watched all over the world now and we have to set a good positive standard for everyone watching. The handshake is just part of that, part of the Respect campaign."

Although Di Matteo did not confirm that Terry would play, he acknowledged Terry's ability to play through controversy unfazed. "As a human being there are certain aspects of life that will faze you, but if you look at his career he's always got on with it," Di Matteo said. "He's a confident player. I wouldn't have any hesitation in that sense."

The game, a local derby, will be an intense one. "It's always a difficult game for us, going to Loftus Road," Di Matteo acknowledged. "We haven't won there in the league for many years, and it'll be very challenging playing there."

The Chelsea manager has no worries, though, about throwing his new signings into that environment. "It's wonderful to be involved in games like that, where the tension is so high, the pressure is there, and you fight over league points," Di Matteo said. "I rather want to focus on the positive aspect of playing in such games. These players [Eden Hazard, Oscar, Cesar Azpilicueta] have been involved in many big games before, so it wouldn't be the first time they've played a match like this."

Di Matteo also defended the club's position regarding Florent Malouda, who is training with the Under-21s after not taking any of the offers made to him for a move during the summer. "You want players who are fully committed and want to go with you for the cause and the targets you set yourselves," Di Matteo explained. "There was a decision made and we stick with it."

Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk