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Ferguson: Benitez snub claim is nonsense

Sir Alex Ferguson has described Rafa Benitez's claim that the Manchester United boss refused to shake his Chelsea counterpart's hand before Sunday's FA Cup tie as "absolute nonsense".

• Blog: Managing club v country

Benitez said after the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford that he had been waiting to greet Ferguson before kick-off, but the Scotsman had ignored the gesture and walked past him.

The Chelsea interim manager said at the time: "I was waiting at the beginning. It's up to him, I was in the way waiting."

The Spaniard added, when asked about why Ferguson would do such a thing: "Ask him - if you are brave enough ask him. It was his decision. I was ready and waiting. I have some education because I know a lot of people are watching so I know what I have to do."

However, Ferguson dismissed the claim out of hand, insisting he would have no motive to deliberately ignore a fellow manager, and he simply missed him by mistake.

"It is nonsense," he said. "Why would I refuse to shake his hand?

"I was signing autographs and I never saw him. Why he has said that I have no idea. If he wanted to shake hands he could have stood straight in front of me. It is absolute nonsense."

The pair will meet in the dugout again when the quarter-final replay is held at Stamford Bridge on Monday April 1, with the winner facing Manchester City in a Wembley semi-final.

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