QPR’s stunning 1-0 defeat of Chelsea last October was marred by allegations the visitors’ John Terry had racially abused the R’s’ Anton Ferdinand. While both clubs are pleading their supporters to be on their best behavior for this Saturday’s FA Cup 4th round tie at Loftus Road, at least one interested observer is urging Ferdinand to make a public show of burying the hatchet (despite one tabloid’s prediction he’ll do no such thing). From The Guardian’s Dominic Fifield ;
Terry intends to offer his hand to his opponent in the pre-match formalities that will inevitably draw the focus on Saturday, though it remains unclear whether Ferdinand will accept it. The QPR defender is expected to speak with the club on Thursday about the issue and will only then decide whether or not to shake hands prior to kick-off.
Lord Ouseley, an FA Councillor and chairman of the anti-racism campaign Kick it Out, has urged Ferdinand to do so. “Here we have the due process taking place, where a player will face the consequences of his actions,” he said. “But there is every reason for players and indeed fans to show civility and respect toward each other and focus on the football. I have nothing against that. A handshake now is part of the reconciliation and honesty that needs to take place.
“It is not about retribution and continued hostility. It is about reconciliation. It is about how to take the heat out of the situation of the two clubs meeting again, and problems with fans’ behaviour as a result of what happened between the players previously. A handshake before the game will not deflect from what went on before and how it will be dealt with.”