Belfast Telegraph

Ferdinand faces Terry handshake

The Premier League have reiterated their intention to press ahead with the traditional pre-match handshakes as Anton Ferdinand prepares to play at Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the first time since Chelsea captain John Terry was accused of racially abusing him during the reverse fixture last October.

The players came up against each other in an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Loftus Road in January, when in a bid to dilute the tension the Football Association gave permission for the teams not to partake in the handshake, amid uncertainty as to whether Rangers defender Ferdinand would snub Terry.

But the Premier League insist there are no plans to drop the handshake at Sunday's game, and have not had a request from either QPR or Chelsea to do so.

Terry was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand during the league match in October, a complaint was made against the Chelsea defender and he was charged with a racially-aggravated public order offence by the Crown Prosecution Service in February. He will stand trial on July 9 and vehemently denies the charge.

Rangers go into the game on the back of four straight home wins - a sequence that has dragged them three points clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone, but their away record is the worst outside the bottom three.

Ferdinand, who impressed in Saturday's win over Tottenham, knows his team are not safe yet but hopes they can move further clear of danger by pulling off their first win at their local rivals since 1986.

"The Tottenham win was a massive win that could push us on to safety - but we're not safe yet," Ferdinand told www.qpr.co.uk.

"We can't for one second think that we're safe. We've got to make sure that we continue push on.

"Now it's time to try and get something away from home next weekend (at Chelsea), and carry on the form that we're showing at home."

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