THE PREMIER LEAGUE has decided to scrap the pre-match handshake for this weekend’s fixture between Chelsea and QPR.
Much of the build up to the game has focused on the race row between Chelsea captain John Terry and QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, with Terry accused of racial abuse during their Premier League fixture earlier this season.
And with reports Ferdinand and some of his team-mates would refuse to shake hands with Terry before Sunday’s match, the Premier League has decided to scrap the tradition.
“The Premier League position on the pre-match handshake convention remains consistent. In all normal circumstances it must be observed,” a statement from the Premier League read.
“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.”
Shaking hands is a common tradition before kick-off in football but this special dispensation has followed comments made earlier in the week by QPR boss Mark Hughes, when he said his players would fully support Ferdinand.
Following Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s refusal to shake Manchester United’s Patrice Evra’s hand in the pre-match build-up to their clash earlier on in the season after the former was banned for eight-games for racially abusing the latter, the Premier League have decided to act now.
And after John Terry’s dismissal in the Champions League semi-final this week, he has been given a reprieve by the Premier League which would see him avoid confrontation with the QPR starting-line up.