FA agrees to skip team handshakes before QPR-Chelsea FA Cup tie

Brooks Peck

When pre-match handshakes become the subject of fervent debate and garner more analysis and predictions than the actual football match that tends to follow them, something has gone wrong. So in an attempt to help sidestep half the day's racial tensions, the FA decided that QPR and Chelsea should just avoid hand shaking situations at all costs. Said the FA:

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 with Budweiser Fourth Round Proper tie at Loftus Road.

The FA agreed to the request by both clubs in an attempt to further diffuse tensions before the match.

In addition to moving kickoff up three hours to a noon start and increasing matchday security with more stewards and full searches on fans, the handshake skipping was all part of a design to avoid any trouble relating to the ongoing criminal case brought against Chelsea's John Terry brought on by an anonymous QPR fan that decided they heard him use a racial slur against QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, who was sent a bullet Friday as some sort of threat.

The only handshake that did take place before the match was between the two captains -- Terry and Joey Barton. The two clubs then diffused the situation further by playing a dire first half that would crush anyone's will to live, let alone commit violence over alleged racial slurs supposedly uttered between footballers.