The Telegraph
Thursday , February 23 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Handshake to improve the image

Zurich: A Fifa expert panel wants players to exchange more handshakes on the field to improve the game's image and sportsmanship.

Franz Beckenbauer, chairman of the Task Force Football 2014, said after a meeting, on Wednesday, that it recommended that players should meet opponents in the center circle after matches.

"At full time I think it would be a better image... When leaving the pitch together and not refusing a handshake," Beckenbauer said. "They should be role models and should behave like role models."

The German great later added that the sport must prevent future incidents such as Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's recent refusal to shake the hand of Manchester United defender Patrice Evra before a match.

"This is the first time I ever saw it myself. I think we simply have to stop it," he said in comments translated from German.

Beckenbauer advised against disciplining players for falling short of Fifa's fair play code, saying that the governing body should first remind players and coaches of their responsibilities.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter created the task force to suggest ways of improving the quality and image of football at the next World Cup, after suggesting too many matches lacked excitement at the 2010 event in South Africa.