Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
“[Club president] Herman Van Holsbeeck and [coach] John van den Brom tried to convince Wasyl to leave the past behind him, without success.” – Anderlecht statement before the Champions League game with Zenit.
We are set for another handshake controversy in the early Champions League game between Zenit St Petersburg and Anderlecht on Wednesday.
As the statement above suggests, Anderlecht’s Polish defender Marcin Wasilewski is refusing to shake hands with Zenit’s Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel who broke his leg just over three years ago.
A watch of the video below shows that Wasilewski is entirely justified to refuse a handshake as this was one of the worst challenges seen anywhere on a football pitch over the past few years.
Wasilewski spent close to a year out of the game injured after the incident in August 2009 and had to undergo corrective surgery on his tibia and fibula.
Witsel received an eight game ban and death threats from Anderlecht supporters which eventually paved the way for his move to Benfica to get away from his “Public Enemy Number One” status in his home country.
The challenge on the video below, if you haven’t seen it, is not for the squeamish.