FA defuses handshake situation
FA agrees to request for no pre-match handshakes at Loftus Road
Last Updated: January 28, 2012 1:01pm
No handshakes: Anton Ferdinand did not have to shake John Terry's hand prior to the FA Cup clash
The Football Association sanctioned a request for no handshakes at Loftus Road ahead of QPR's match with Chelsea.
The authority gave the clubs permission not to take part in the traditional pre-match handshake amid uncertainty as to whether Anton Ferdinand would shake John Terry's hand.
Saturday's game was the first time the two sides have met since Chelsea skipper Terry was charged with racially abusing Hoops defender Ferdinand during October's Premier League game between the two sides.
Terry has denied the offence and Ferdinand was reportedly agonising over whether or not to accept his hand.
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas had said on Friday it was "extremely important" the players shook hands prior to kick-off, but QPR manager Mark Hughes insisted it would be entirely Ferdinand's decision.
The FA released a statement which 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 fourth-round tie at Loftus Road.
"The FA agreed to the request by both clubs in an attempt to further defuse tensions before the match."
Those tensions were raised on Friday night when Metropolitan Police announced they were investigating a "malicious communication" sent to QPR and addressed to Ferdinand.
Sky Sports sources understood the package contained a bullet but the contents on Saturday remained unconfirmed by both police and the club.
But the matter was serious enough to prompt the Rs and Chelsea to announce all fans entering Loftus Road would be subject to "full searches" before entering the ground.
Stewards were seen using handheld metal detectors, with some donning protective goggles, while there was a heavier than usual police presence.