QPR and Chelsea waive pre-match handshake to 'diffuse tensions' in agreement with FA

Following discussions between senior officials, pre-match pleasantries were scrapped as both clubs seek to end the furore surrounding the Anton Ferdinand and John Terry dispute
The Football Association have announced that there will be no usual handshakes prior to today's FA Cup clash between QPR and Chelsea.

The decision was made after both clubs decided that it would ease tensions around the ground before kick-off.

Anton Ferdinand, who accused Chelsea skipper John Terry of racially abusing him, was reported to be considering not shaking his opponent's hand before the FA stepped in.

John Terry will be arraigned in West London Magistrates on Wednesday in relation to the incident and could be handed a hefty fine for his actions.

Much of the pre-match talk surrounded the horrific news yesterday that a bullet had been sent through the post to Queens Park Rangers. The package was addressed to Ferdinand and the Metropolitan Police are now investigating.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas also caused controversy in his press conference yesterday when he suggested that not shaking hands would be showing a lack of respect.

“I think it’s important they shake hands," he said. "This game is based on good values more than anything else. These two players should continue to promote those good values.

“There should be a hand-shake. I think the players will stand up to their examples and do it."

The FA's statement this afternoon read:

"Following discussions on Friday evening and Saturday morning involving senior officials from QPR, Chelsea and The FA, it has been agreed there will not be the usual team handshake before today's FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round Proper tie at Loftus Road.

"The FA agreed to the request by both clubs in an attempt to further diffuse tensions before the match."

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