Alex Ferguson will speak to Rio Ferdinand regarding John Terry

 

Sir Alex Ferguson intends to speak with Rio Ferdinand ahead of Manchester United's Premier League encounter with Chelsea on Sunday to try and calm concerns about the pre-match handshake.

As John Terry is doubtful for the Stamford Bridge encounter with a knee injury, the issue over whether Ferdinand should shake his England team-mate's hand may not arise.

However, yesterday it was confirmed that Terry would not face a court case into his alleged racial abuse of Ferdinand's brother, Anton, until after Euro 2012.

A tweet sent by Rio yesterday seemed to indicate the 33-year-old was not too impressed by the situation.

And with the elder Ferdinand believed to be in two minds about whether to shake hands with Terry after the Premier League confirmed they had no plans to scrap the traditional pre-match greeting, Ferguson wants to reassure the 33-year-old.

"John Terry might not play but I would have a word with Rio about the situation," said Ferguson.

"Rio has been fighting racism for many years and the lad must rise above it.

"It doesn't detract from anything to shake John Terry's hand. He (Rio) has done nothing to be ashamed of."

It is the first of two such cases United are faced with on successive weekends given Luis Suarez is set to be in the Liverpool squad to face the Red Devils at Old Trafford on February 11.

It would be the Uruguayan's first meeting with Patrice Evra since he was banned for eight matches for making racist comments towards the Frenchman.

"Patrice Evra has already shown the courage to fight it by complaining about it," said Ferguson.

"It is nothing to be ashamed of. There is not a problem shaking hands."

Press Association Sport understands the FA have stripped Terry of the England captain's role.

And that might mean Ferdinand inheriting it given he is currently the official vice-captain.

Their relationship in Poland and Ukraine would be open to scrutiny.

However, Sunday is the more pressing concern, with Ferguson not getting carried away with the importance of what happens before kick-off.

"The handshake started with Sky. There is nothing wrong with it," he said.

"It is only a handshake. There have been plenty of examples of players shaking hands whilst saying you won't be shaking my hand at the end.

"Football is football. It is a competitive game."

PA

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