QPR gaining a point in a home draw with the defending Champion’s League title-holders was mostly overshadowed today by Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand refusing the pre-match handshake of Chelsea’s John Terry. As you might recall, Terry stands accused of racially abusing Ferdinand during Chelsea’s prior EPL visit to Loftus Road last season. It would be the height of understatement to say The Independent’s Michael Calvin isn’t very impressed with either player or those in attendance, writing that Saturday’s events in W12 were, “a charade which exposed the shallowness of the Respect campaign.”
The level of debate during a goalless West London derby was summarised by a banner, brandished by a young girl, which looked as if it had been knocked up during a Friday afternoon art class. It read: “John Terry. We Know What You Said.” It got her 15 seconds of fame on TV, I suppose.
Given the hype, referee Andre Marriner did well to control a game which, the pre-publicity suggested, should have been staged under the auspices of the United Nations. All we needed to complete the charade of political correctness was an anguished anthem by Bono.
The abuse was puerile, relentless. When the home crowd chanted “Ashley Cole, you’re John Terry’s bitch”, the travelling supporters sang their names rhythmically. They launched into a chorus of “Only one lying bastard”, only to be answered by a taunt of “John Terry, your family are scum”.