English football announces decision after Queen Elizabeth death
Football matches in England’s Premier League and Football League will be canceled this weekend as a mark of respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II, it has been confirmed.
The British government had recommended that any final decision on hosting matches would be up to individual sporting bodies.
Discussions were held on Friday morning regarding matches in England across the Premier League and the three tiers of the Football League (EFL), with a subsequent announcement stating that fixtures would be rearranged.
“To honor her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation, and as a mark of respect, this weekend’s Premier League match round will be postponed, including Monday evening’s game,” read a Premier League message.
The EFL said its approach was “aligned” with that of the Premier League and English Football Association (FA).
As a mark of respect to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, this weekend’s Premier League match round will be postponed.— Premier League (@premierleague) September 9, 2022
EFL matches scheduled for Friday had already been scrapped, while elsewhere events in England such as the cricket test against South Africa and golf’s PGA Championship at Wentworth were suspended on Thursday, although both are expected to resume this weekend.
Manchester United and West Ham both played their European matches as scheduled on Thursday night, following consultations with UEFA and the FA, although the games were preceded by a minute’s silence and other marks of respect, including players wearing black armbands.
Arsenal were already playing a UEFA Europa League match in Zurich when the news of the Queen’s death was reported, leading to the teams holding a minute’s silence before the start of the second half.
Elsewhere, one of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite pastimes – horse racing – is set to continue at St Leger in Doncaster, although events will reportedly be switched from Saturday to Sunday. Rugby league matches will also be held, according to initial reports.
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Thursday that the Queen had passed away aged 96 while at her residence in Balmoral, Scotland. The news sent the UK into a wave of mourning.
Issuing recommendations to sporting bodies, the government has stated that they should considering canceling or rearranging events on the day of the Queen’s funeral, which is yet to be confirmed but is expected to be in around 10 days’ time.
“As a mark of respect, organizations might wish to consider canceling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the State Funeral. They are under no obligation to do so and this is entirely at the discretion of individual organizations,” read a government message.
“As a mark of respect, and in keeping with the tone of National Mourning, organizers may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures, and players may wish to wear black armbands,” it added.