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Sep, 14, 2012

Teams await FA handshake decision

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo expects John Terry and Anton Ferdinand to shake hands prior to the club's game with Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

• Smith: A storm in a handshake. Again.
• Bennett: Match overshadowed by you-know-who

Terry, 31, and team-mate Ashley Cole are expected to be fit for the match, having missed England's qualifier with Ukraine on Tuesday.

The Chelsea captain ended up in court after allegations he racial abused Ferdinand in the same fixture last season.

During the court case, Cole defended Terry, who was found not guilty, which caused a rift between himself and Rio Ferdinand, Anton's brother, leading to questions over him partaking in the handshakes.

The pre-requisite handshakes were abandoned for last season's FA Cup tie between the two clubs at Loftus Road, a scenario repeated during the league game at Stamford Bridge in April.

Despite the previous cancellations of mutual respect, the Premier League is yet to decide if the handshakes will be abandoned once more on Saturday in order to avoid a potential flashpoint.

There was a suspicion that neither Terry nor Cole would recover from injury in time to play, but Di Matteo confirmed their fitness, and anticipates the handshakes to take place.

"They've recovered, had a couple of days training and we expect them to be available for tomorrow," Di Matteo said.

"We're going to respect the rules and the protocol that is in place from the Premier League and set a positive standard to the millions of people watching across the world.''

He added of the handshake: "We'll go ahead with it, yes."

Di Matteo's counterpart at Loftus Road, Mark Hughes, will respect the choice made by the FA on the matter.

"There's a lot of debate over the handshake every time we have a game against Chelsea," Hughes explained. "We'll respect the handshake if that's what we're told will happen. It's not my decision, we abide by the Premier League. I've had a discussion with Anton about it but that will remain between us.''

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