FA scrap Loftus Road handshake to avoid escalating tensions between Ferdinand and Terry
Anton Ferdinand was spared having to shake John Terry's hand before QPR's FA Cup clash with Chelsea.
The Football Association gave the clubs permission not to take part in the traditional pre-match handshake, amid uncertainty as to whether Rangers defender Ferdinand would snub Terry.
Saturday is the first time the two sides have met since Terry was charged with racially abusing Ferdinand during October's Premier League game between the two.
Tensions: John Terry and Anton Ferdinand were on opposite sides at Loftus Road
Terry has denied the offence and Ferdinand was reportedly agonising over whether or not to accept his hand.
The FA released a statement, which
read: 'Following discussions on Friday evening and Saturday morning
involving senior officials from QPR, Chelsea and the FA, it has been
agreed there will not be the usual team handshake before today's FA Cup
fourth-round tie at Loftus Road.
'The FA agreed to the request by both clubs in an attempt to further defuse tensions before the match.'
Let's shake on it: Terry was greeted by QPR captain Joey Barton
Those tensions were raised on Friday
night when Metropolitan Police announced they were investigating a
'malicious communication' sent to QPR and addressed to Ferdinand.
There were reports the package contained a bullet but the contents remained unconfirmed by both police and the club on Saturday.
But the matter was serious enough to
prompt Rangers and Chelsea to announce all fans entering Loftus Road
would be subject to 'full searches' before entering the ground.
Stewards were seen using handheld
metal detectors, with some donning protective goggles, while there was a
heavier than usual police presence.
Strict: There were reports security guards used metal detectors to search fans