Football fans group seeks refunds in relation to Queen's death postponements
The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) in England has made calls for fans that have been left out of pocket due to the postponement of football matches after Queen Elizabeth II's death to be reimbursed.
On Saturday, as matches from grassroots level to the Premier League were called off, the FSA's chair Malcolm Clarke pressured rail companies and English football authorities to make sure that supporters who had been scheduled to travel to games this weekend don't end up losing out financially due to the decision to suspend the weekend's action out of respect for the 96-year-old monarch.
"There’s a big question there about refunds, advance train tickets that have been booked for away games and all of that," Clarke said.
"We would certainly expect the rail industry and the football authorities to take a very sympathetic view of that. It’s not a good time to ask fans to spend money on things that don’t happen," he added.
The Queen was a patron of English football governing body the Football Association (FA) which decided to scrap games despite other sports such as cricket, golf and rugby going ahead but with tributes before the start of play.
Yet according to the FSA and others such as ex-England internationals Gary Neville and Peter Crouch, football fans and players could have still paid their respects if matches had gone ahead.
"We believe football is at its finest when bringing people together at times of huge national significance – be those moments of joy or moments of mourning," the FSA explained on Friday:
"Our view, which we shared with the football authorities, is that most supporters would have liked to go to games this weekend and pay their respects to the Queen alongside their fellow fans.
"Black armbands, silences observed, national anthem, Royal band playing etc to the millions around the world watching? Isn’t that a better send-off?" posed Crouch on Twitter, as Neville stated: "Sport can demonstrate better than most the respect the Queen deserves."
Asked if displays of respect shown at the Oval for England's cricket test against South Africa and the PGA Championship at Wentworth supported the FSA's view, Clarke answered: "We feel that there were other ways of paying tribute that would have actually been more meaningful than simply calling everything off, particularly with things like kids’ football."
As Queen Elizabeth's funeral is planned for Monday September 19, it is currently unclear whether next weekend's round of football matches will also be canceled or severely affected.