Sep 14 2012 By Matt Lewis
THE Premier League has ruled that the much talked about pre-match handshake between QPR and Chelsea will go ahead this Saturday.
Rangers boss Mark Hughes had raised the issue with the Premier League ahead of the derby-day clash which has been overshadowed by the prospect of QPR defender Anton Ferdinand coming face to face with John Terry.
It would be the first time the pair have met on the field since Blues skipper Terry was not guilty of using a racial slur against Ferdinand in the same fixture at Loftus Road last October.
"There's a lot of debate over the handshake every time we have a game against Chelsea,” explained Hughes. “I’ve got my own views on the handshake and I raised them at Premier League level before the season even began.
“We’ll be guided by the Premier League and 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.”
The Premier League have responded to the speculation by releasing a statement this afternoon which insists the pre-match ritual will take place.
The statement read: "There has been dialogue between the Premier League, Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea in relation to tomorrow's match between the two clubs.
"All parties understand and acknowledge that the pre-match handshake will go ahead as part of the normal pre-match activity."
Ferdinand had been struggling with a shoulder injury but Hughes has passed the centre-back fit to face Roberto Di Matteo’s side.
The QPR chief has spoken privately with Ferdinand before including him in his squad and is satisfied with the defender’s mental and physical state.
"I've had a discussion with Anton about it but that will remain between us," he added.