Chelsea and QPR call for peace ahead of Terry-Ferdinand reunion at Loftus Road
Chelsea and QPR have united to call for calm ahead of their FA Cup clash on Saturday.
The game will be the first time Chelsea captain John Terry and QPR defender Anton Ferdinand have faced each other since the Blues' 1-0 defeat in October.
Terry has been charged with racially abusing Ferdinand during the game and will appear in court on February 1. He has denied the charge.
Meeting: Ferdinand and Terry clashed back in October
However the two clubs on Wednesday
moved to show a united front ahead of the tie and asked for the game to
be a 'celebration of football'.
Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea, and
Tony Fernandes, his QPR counterpart, said in the statement: 'We have
discussed the issues surrounding this weekend's FA Cup fourth-round tie
at Loftus Road and we are both in total agreement that abuse and
discrimination has no place in football or society.
'Both clubs enjoy fantastic support.
However, we would remind fans that while we want to hear their passion,
it's a fact that hatred and abuse is not what being a fan of Chelsea or
QPR is about.
'The clubs will work together with
the police to ensure that anyone using discriminatory or inflammatory
language is identified and that the strongest possible action is taken
Showing support: Terry continues to be backed by his club and fans
The statement continued: 'A local
derby is always a special occasion and this weekend's FA Cup tie is a
unique opportunity to show the world that hatred has no place in our
game, our clubs, or our communities.
'We would urge fans witnessing any form of abuse to report it to a matchday steward or text confidentially on 07557 435421.
'Let's make Saturday's match a celebration of football.'
England captain Terry has denied
allegations he racially abused Ferdinand during last October's game at
Loftus Road and is due to appear before west London magistrates next
week after being charged over the incident.
Form: Former QPR manager Neil Warnock believed Ferdinand's performances dropped in light of the revelations
The match has been brought forward to
a midday kick-off on the advice of police in a bid to minimise
potential crowd problems, with both clubs keen to avoid any ill-feeling
last week that QPR officials planned to hold talks aimed at encouraging
Ferdinand to shake hands with Terry before the match.
It is FA Cup protocol for both sets
of players to shake hands before matches and Rangers want to do their
utmost to defuse a potentially explosive encounter.
Snub: Wayne Bridge famously ignored the hand of Terry following revelations about the pair's private life in 2010
Chelsea skipper Terry will extend his hand during the pre-game formalities but it is unclear if Ferdinand would reciprocate.
Wayne Bridge famously rejected
Terry's hand in February 2010 after it emerged the England captain had
an affair with the left back's former partner Vanessa Perroncel.
The FA are expected to speak to both
clubs ahead of Saturday to ensure everything has been done to ensure the
game is trouble free. It is understood FA chiefs are keen for the pair
to shake hands.