Chelsea & QPR in talks over handshake

Senior officials from Chelsea and QPR are in talks to defuse the growing tension surrounding Saturday’s west London derby at Loftus Road.

QPR defender Anton Ferdinand will meet with manager Mark Hughes on Thursday having indicated he will not shake John Terry’s hand before the match.

In July, the Chelsea captain was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand in last season’s corresponding fixture.

Terry is still facing a separate FA charge, which he denies.

That hearing is expected to begin on 24 September.

Ferdinand is also understood to be considering avoiding Ashley Cole in any pre-match line-up after the Chelsea defender testified as a character witness for Terry at the trial in July.

Cole and Terry are both doubtful for the game after sustaining ankle and knee problems respectively over the international break.

Ferdinand may also miss the match as he works his way back from a shoulder injury.

While the Premier League is adamant the pre-match handshake should go ahead, senior figures have conceded it could be abandoned if one or both clubs request it in the interest of easing a highly charged situation. Neither club has contacted the Premier League asking to postpone the pre-match handshake yet, but both have spoken to the Metropolitan Police.

In July Terry was cleared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of racially abusing Ferdinand during the Premier League game between the West London sides. It was alleged Terry had insulted Ferdinand, describing him as “black” and using extreme sexual swear words.

But in reaching a not guilty verdict, chief magistrate Howard Riddle stated it was “possible that what was said was not intended as an insult but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him”.

The prosecution had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Terry had used the words in an insulting manner, which it could not.

But the FA only has to prove its case “on the balance of probabilities”.

Fabio Capello resigned as England manager in February after Terry was stripped of the captaincy because of the allegations.

Capello’s successor Roy Hodgson included Terry in the squad that played at Euro 2012.