Handshakes banned to avoid Terry snub

 

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The Premier League has suspended the pre-match handshake at Sunday's Chelsea-QPR match due to the legal situation involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand.

Ferdinand's lawyers had advised him not to shake Terry's hand in the first time the pair will face each other in a Premier League match since the Chelsea captain was accused of racially abusing the QPR defender last October. Terry denies the charges.

After taking legal advice, the Premier League has now decided to suspend the handshake convention. A statement said: "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 Queen's Park Rangers about the potential and specific legal context in relation to John Terry, right, and Anton Ferdinand the decision has been taken to suspend the handshake convention for Sunday's match."

The advice to Ferdinand was that a handshake with Terry would in some way be a public sign of approval towards the man who is accused of racially abusing him. As a consequence, it has become clear publicly from newspaper reports during this week that Ferdinand was not prepared to shake the Chelsea captain's hand at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

In response it was argued by Terry's legal representatives that if he was snubbed by just Ferdinand, and possibly the entire Rangers team – as they threatened to do before January's fourth round FA Cup tie between the two clubs – that it could have a detrimental effect on his case.

Both sides told the Premier League, in whose gift it is to cancel the handshake, that they were not prepared to go ahead with it. Earlier the League has insisted the handshake went ahead.

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