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Oct 26, 2012

Di Matteo against Rooney Rule

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has rejected calls that the 'Rooney Rule' should be introduced to English football, insisting "freedom of choice" for employers is more important.

• Wenger wary of 'Rooney Rule'

Earlier this week the Professional Footballers' Association introduced the idea as part of their six-point plan to tackle racism in the game, following the storm surrounding the issue that has raged on over the past year.

The rule, which has been taken from the National Football League in the Unites States, requires clubs to interview a certain number of candidates from a minority background in order to promote equality.

The lack of managers from a minority background in the English game has been a talking point now for a number of years and many see the new initiative as a good idea.

However, following in Arsene Wenger's footsteps, Di Matteo has claimed the rule is not necessary in football, because candidates should be chosen for their talent and not because of their background.

"I think, despite your background, if you're qualified and if you're good enough, or if the employer thinks you're good enough, there shouldn't even be such an issue," he said.

"I know in the States they have this. Do we need to come down to a rule like this? I'm not sure. I think if it's necessary, good, but I just think there should be freedom of choice and everybody should have equal chances."

Elsewhere, Di Matteo expects Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand to shake hands ahead of the Chelsea and Manchester United clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, despite the history between the two players.

Ferdinand, 33, was charged with improper conduct and fined £45,000 in July for acknowledging a Twitter comment that referred to Cole, 31, as a "choc-ice" after the left back's testimony in the John Terry court case.

The Chelsea boss, however, does not feel the incident will be an issue and also said it will be his players' individual choice as to whether they wear the Kick It Out t-shirts.

"I've always said, from our point of view, we'll play our part and I don't think we'll see any problems," he said. "Our fans have been very good generally, very supportive of our team and respectful. Now, I cannot comment on how every individual supporter in the stadium will react. I'm sure they'll support our team and push them to a win.

"We are supporting the Kick It Out campaign. It's going to be an individual choice for our players. We're not going to force anybody to wear it but my personal opinion is that we should wear it and we should raise awareness about it and show our support for it."

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