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Premier League suspend pre-match handshake between Chelsea & QPR over Terry & Anton Ferdinand incident

The decision to suspend the ritual is because of legal problems that may arise ahead of the former England captain's court case for allegedly abusing the former Sunderland defender

The pre-match handshake between Chelsea and QPR at Stamford Bridge is set to be abandoned due to legal ramifications that could arise in John Terry's legal case for alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.

The two sides are set to meet on Sunday afternoon and the Premier League have decided that the pre-match ritual will not go ahead.

"The Premier League position on the pre-match handshake convention remains consistent. In all normal circumstances it must be observed," the Premier League said in a statement.

"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."

The statement is in relation to the previous fixture between the two where Chelsea defender Terry was alleged to have racially abused QPR defender Ferdinand.

And following Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's refusal to shake Manchester United's Patrice Evra's hand in the before their clash earlier on in the season, the Premier League have decided to act now.

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.

And Terry has now been given a reprieve by the Premier League which would see him avoid confrontation with the QPR starting-line up.