Handshake cancelled over fears Terry trial could be prejudiced

PREMIER League chiefs have cancelled the pre-match handshake at Sunday’s clash between Chelsea and QPR in order to avoid inflaming the race row surrounding John Terry and Anton Ferdinand.

The League stepped in after QPR defender Ferdinand was advised by lawyers that shaking hands or snubbing Blues captain Terry could prejudice the latter’s criminal trial, it is understood.

Terry will appear in court in July charged with a racially aggravated public order offence, relating to an alleged exchange with Ferdinand during a match at Loftus Road in October. Terry denies the charge.

The Football Association cancelled the handshakes before January’s FA Cup meeting – the first following the incident, which led to Terry losing the England captaincy.

Terry, meanwhile, will be allowed to lift the Champions League trophy if Chelsea win next month’s final against Bayern Munich, despite being suspended, European governing body Uefa confirmed yesterday.

Chelsea’s search for a new manager has taken a fresh twist after it emerged Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is poised to quit at the end of the season.