Ferdinand dilemma over Terry handshake
ANTON Ferdinand will consult QPR owner Tony Fernandes today before deciding whether to shake hands with John Terry ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie with Chelsea.
Ferdinand is aware of the potentially incendiary nature of the FA Cup fourth-round tie and the clubs issued a joint statement yesterday warning fans they will take action against anyone using discriminatory language. It will be the first time the clubs have met since Terry was charged with racially abusing Ferdinand during October's Premier League derby.
The QPR defender is in a quandary as to what to do on Saturday. He does not want to inflame the situation, but neither does he feel he can easily shake Terry's hand given the nature of the allegations, even if the Chelsea captain vehemently denies wrongdoing.
Ferdinand has not made up his mind and there is no pressure from QPR for him to be reconciled with Terry during the now traditional pre-match handshake.
Fernandes' opinion could be key but the owner is unlikely to put any pressure on the defender either way, although he will want to try to ensure that the match takes place without incident. It may, therefore, be deemed that a handshake could be the best solution.
In the statement, QPR and Chelsea said: "Discrimination has no place in football or society. Both clubs enjoy fantastic support. However, we would remind fans that, while we want to hear their passion, hatred and abuse is not what being a fan of QPR or Chelsea is about.
"The clubs will work together with the police to ensure that anyone using discriminatory or inflammatory language is identified and that the strongest possible action is taken."
Ferdinand should have a new defensive partner after QPR agreed a £3m fee for Manchester City's Nedum Onuoha.
Meanwhile, nine men have been arrested on suspicion of racist chanting by Charlton Athletic fans on a train following the FA Cup tie against Fulham on January 7.