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League will risk handshake snub by Anton Ferdinand or John Terry

By Sam Wallace

The Premier League has no intention of cancelling tomorrow's pre-match handshake at Loftus Road between Queen's Park Rangers and Chelsea players, regardless of the possibility of one or both of Anton Ferdinand and John Terry refusing to shake the other's hand.

The league cannot compel Ferdinand to shake Terry's hand but they are leaving that decision up to individuals.

The Premier League took the unprecedented step of cancelling the pre-match handshake ahead of the fixture between the two sides on 29 April but only because of legal representations from both players. Lawyers for both sides felt it could affect their clients' position in the trial of Terry in July for racially abusing Ferdinand – where he was acquitted.

The Football Association had cancelled the handshake before the FA Cup fourth-round tie between the two clubs last season when it became clear that none of the QPR players would shake Terry's hand.

The issue of pre-match handshakes was raised by the Premier League in its pre-season meeting with club managers and the agreement was that they should go ahead. The managers requested that there was clarity from the league that the handshake was to remain.

There have been suggestions that Ferdinand will also refuse to shake the hand of Ashley Cole, who was a key witness for Terry in his trial at Westminster magistrates' court. Cole said that he believed he had heard Ferdinand first accuse Terry of the racial slur "a f****** black c***", backing up his team-mate's version of events.

Belfast Telegraph


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