Sunday, 29 April 2012

Pre Match Chelsea-QPR Handshake Cancelled

Taking a strong stance against Racism, the Premier League has suspended the pre-match handshake at Sunday's game between Chelsea and QPR due to the legal battle involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand. 

Ferdinand's lawyers had advised him not to shake Terry's hand - the first time the pair would have met in a Barclays Premier League match since the Chelsea captain was accused of racially abusing the QPR player in October.

After taking legal advice, the Premier League has decided to suspend the customary pre match handshake.

A Premier League statement released for the Press Association read: "The Premier League position on the pre-match handshake convention remains consistent.

"In all normal circumstances it must be observed.

"However, after discussions with both Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers about the potential and specific legal context in relation to John Terry and Anton Ferdinand the decision has been taken to suspend the handshake convention for Sunday's match."

Earlier, the Football Association had cancelled the pre-match handshake when the two clubs met in the FA Cup in January, but the Premier League had initially insisted the handshake between the two sides should go ahead this weekend.This had been their policy when Liverpool met Manchester United following Luis Suarez's ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra - when the Liverpool striker then caused a uproar amongst fans and media by snubbing the French defender.

The Premier League release says that they had little option with respect to Sunday's game at Stamford Bridge. Apparently Ferdinand's lawyers had advised their client that to shake Terry's hand may prejudice the trial of the Chelsea centre-back, while Terry's legal team suggested that it could also prejudice the trial if the QPR player refused to do so.

Ferdinand, who is the younger brother of Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand maintains he is in the right frame of mind to play despite the hostile atmosphere he and his team-mates will face in Sunday's game. 

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