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Racism row overshadows FA Cup

posted 27 Jan 2012, 11:57 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 27 Jan 2012, 11:57 ]

Chelsea coach Andre Villas Boas and Queens Park Rangers new boss Mark Hughes say John Terry and Anton Ferdinand should make peace as the two dfender face each other for the first time since a racist row in October.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JANUARY 27, 2012) (ITN) - The English FA Cup match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on Saturday

(January 28) is destined to be over-shadowed by a racism row sparked when they met in the League in October and Chelsea skipper John Terry allegedly racially insulted QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

At a news conference on Friday (January 27), Chelsea coach Andre Villas Boas said the two players should shake hands before the kick off.

"I think so, i think there should be and I think the players will stand to their examples and do it," he said.

The match comes four days before Terry is due in court to answer the racism charge, which he has denied.

Mark, Hughes, the new coach at West London rivals Queens Park Rangers, said the final decision should rest with his defender Anton Ferdinand.

"I think it has to be his own personal decision. I think if he feels or deems it is not appropriate to do that that has to be his own decision. He won't be influenced by myself or by the club," he said.

Villas Boas reiterated twice to the media that it was 'extremely important the two players made this goodwill gesture but has not yet decided whether he will shake hands with Terry before kick off.

Reports in the British media say the QPR defender has been sent a bullet in the post less 24 hours the fourth round match in which he could come face to face with Chelsea's Terry, who was charged with racially abusing Ferdinand.

Both managers said the two players were ready and concentrated in the game but they also warned about the volatile atmosphere at QPR Loftus Road stadium.

"We as a club, obviously I have spoken quite close with Chelsea and with the Police and we are taking all the appropriate steps as we would with any game. Obviously the profile of this game is a little bit higher and it is a local derby and it is the FA Cup. So because of that there is always a little bit of tension," Hughes said.

Villas Boas added: "I think Lotus Road is an environment of great passion and great ambition and I just want to be a traditional football game. There is responsibility in every game for the players and I think that they know what they have to do."

Asked about reports Anton Ferdinand would have spent £30,000 pounds ($47,000) hiring personal security, Hughes joked.

"I was not aware of that. We are actually in a hotel tonight and travelling to the ground by coach. So, it is 30 grand (thousand) he didn't have to spend with us I guess,"

Hughes must decide whether to give debuts to Nedum Onuoha, who joined the club from Manchester City this week.

Chelsea are likely to be without Frank Lampard who injured his hamstring against Norwich City last week.

England and Chelsea captain Terry, who denies any wrongdoing, is due to appear in court next week over the alleged racist abuse which has added extra tension to the build-up to Saturday's fourth-round match at Loftus Road.