Premier League confirms pre-match handshake between QPR and Chelsea will go ahead
The Premier League has confirmed that the pre-match handshake between QPR and Chelsea on Saturday will go ahead.
Last Updated: 14/09/12 3:32pm
There were suggestions that the ritual could be scrapped due to concerns because of the anticipated meeting of Rs defender Anton Ferdinand and Blues skipper John Terry.
England centre-back Terry was found not guilty of using a racial slur against Ferdinand in the corresponding fixture last October but remains the subject of a Football Association investigation, having denied all charges relating to the matter.
Terry and team-mate Ashley Cole, who was called as a witness in the court case, have recovered from the ankle injuries which restricted their involvement in England's recent World Cup qualifiers and are both expected to feature.
Ferdinand is fit to play after overcoming a shoulder problem and both clubs, who have appealed for calm from their supporters prior to the clash, have been informed that there will be no change to the usual rituals prior to kick-off.
The tradition was abandoned in advance of the previous two encounters between the clubs with court proceedings still pending, but the Premier League will not adopt that stance on this occasion.
Their statement read: "There has been dialogue between the Premier League, Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea in relation to tomorrow's match between the two clubs.
"All parties understand and acknowledge the pre-match handshake will go ahead as part of the normal pre-match activities."
Blues boss Roberto di Matteo insisted his players would have no problem shaking hands, while counterpart Mark Hughes was more guarded but admitted they would be guided by the decision from the game's rulers.