League spares Terry, Ferdinand handshake

2012-04-27 08:58

London – Premier League chiefs tried to avoid a potential flashpoint by abandoning the pre-match handshake at Sunday’s match between Chelsea and QPR because of the racism allegations involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand.

Chelsea skipper Terry is facing a July 9 court case over allegations he racially abused Ferdinand during QPR’s victory over Chelsea in October.

Terry, who lost the England captaincy over the issue, has strongly denied wrongdoing.

The Football Association cancelled handshakes when QPR faced Chelsea in the FA Cup in January, but the Premier League had previously been adamant the ritual will go ahead in Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge.

But after a day of conflicting reports about whether the gesture would be observed this weekend, and the potential legal ramifications if Ferdinand and Terry did or did not shake hands, the Premier League decided to suspend the convention for this match only.

“The Premier League position on the pre-match handshake convention remains consistent,” a statement issued by the Premier League today said.

“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.”
 

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