QPR and Chelsea in talks over pre-match handshake
QPR and Chelsea are in talks about how to handle the pre-match handshake at this weekend's west London derby, Press Association Sport understands.
The Barclays Premier League encounter is the first meeting between the clubs since John Terry was found not guilty of using a racial slur against the Hoops' Anton Ferdinand in the corresponding fixture last October.
Terry, who remains the subject of a Football Association investigation over the charges that he denies, had been a doubt for the Loftus Road clash but is reportedly winning his battle with an ankle injury sustained on England duty.
Ferdinand is also recovering well after a shoulder injury, meaning the defenders are on course to meet for the first time since the Chelsea captain's race trial in July.
The match could also involve Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole - another recovering from injury - following his appearance as a character witness for Terry.
Consequently, there has been speculation as to whether Ferdinand would shake some of his Chelsea counterparts' hands - a tradition that was abandoned in advance of the previous two encounters between the clubs.
Press Association Sport understands that the Hoops are liaising with Chelsea on how to approach Saturday's fixture and plan to make an announcement on the matter before Mark Hughes' pre-match press conference tomorrow afternoon.
Regardless of the tension, the Premier League has no plans to cancel the pre-match handshakes, with a spokesperson telling Press Association Sport: "We are expecting the handshakes to go forward."
It is understood that the body has not been involved in the ongoing talks between the clubs and does not expect to be approached about cancelling the handshake as there is no active legal case.
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