Chelsea, QPR won't shake hands

Updated: April 26, 2012, 8:07 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- The English Premier League has been forced to scrap team handshakes before Sunday's match between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers due to John Terry's pending racism trial.

The Chelsea captain is accused of racially insulting QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, who is black, during their Premier League game in October. Terry faces a criminal trial in July from the incident that led to him being stripped of the England captaincy ahead of the European Championship.

Ferdinand was spared having to decide whether to shake Terry's hand before an FA Cup match in January after the Football Association allowed the sides to forgo the ritual.

The EPL wanted to retain the pre-match handshakes Sunday and stressed that in "all normal circumstances it must be observed."

But legal advice led to the greetings being scrapped for the match at Stamford Bridge.

"After discussions with both Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers about the potential and specific legal context in relation to John Terry and Anton Ferdinand the decision has been taken to suspend the handshake convention for Sunday's match," the league said in a statement.

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez was forced to apologize in February after refusing to shake Patrice Evra's hand in their first meeting since Suarez was suspended for eight games for repeatedly directing a racial slur at the Manchester United defender during a match.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press