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Premier League, FA Cancel All Football, Other Games This Weekend Despite Government Guidance Allowing Them To Play After The Queen’s Death

The Premier League and the Football Association have postponed all matches this weekend following the death of Queen Elizabeth despite the UK Government stating they were under no obligation to do so. 

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) held a call with all major sports at 9.30am to determine the plan of action for the rest of this weekend’s calendar and left the decision over events up to the individual organisations. 

However, the Premier League and EFL released a statement saying they had made the decision to postpone this weekend’s fixtures to honour Queen Elizabeth’s ‘extraordinary life and contribution to the nation’.

The Premier League released the following statement: ‘At a meeting this morning [Friday], Premier League clubs paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

‘To honour 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.’

Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive, added: ‘We and our clubs would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s long and unwavering service to our country.

‘As our longest-serving monarch, she has been an inspiration and leaves behind an incredible legacy following a life of dedication.

‘This is a tremendously sad time for not just the nation but also for the millions of people around the world who admired her, and we join together with all those in mourning her passing.’

The Premier League released a statement saying they made the decision to postpone the fixtures to honour Queen Elizabeth's 'extraordinary life and contribution to the nation'+9

The Premier League released a statement saying they made the decision to postpone the fixtures to honour Queen Elizabeth’s ‘extraordinary life and contribution to the nation’

There were also concerns that policing issues would affect the games if they were to go ahead as planned on the weekend.  

The Premier League have said that further updates regarding the postponed fixtures during the period of mourning will be provided in due course. 

According to the Daily Telegraph, there are now concerns about football taking place next week, with police set to be redeployed to the Queen’s funeral in London, slated for Monday September 19.

Police chiefs are currently meeting to determine whether forces would be too stretched next weekend between Friday 16 September and Sunday 18 September. 

If next week’s matches are postponed then there could be no Premier League football until October 1 – nearly a month away – because of the upcoming international break. 

The postponement of the entire programme could create fixture congestion later in the season as there are no free midweeks between now and the mid-winter break for the World Cup – which begins in Qatar just seven days after the Premier League pauses.

The Premier League and EFL’s decision to postpone this weekend’s fixtures comes shortly after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport issued their guidance. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have issues their guidance for sporting events this weekend as the country continues to mourn for Queen Elizabeth II+9

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have issues their guidance for sporting events this weekend as the country continues to mourn for Queen Elizabeth II

The UK Government said there was no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period.

However, they said that the decision was left at the discretion of individual organisations and hinted that they should ‘hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures’ if they decide to go ahead. 

Despite being down to individual governing bodies, the chair of the DCMS Select Committee Julian Knight told TalkSPORT that no sporting events should take place out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II – who passed away peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon.

Nevertheless, Cricket, golf, rugby league and rugby union all appear to be preparing to resume on Saturday – while the Great North Run, the world’s largest half marathon – is also going ahead.

A statement from the Government read: ‘There is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period. 

‘This is at the discretion of individual organisations. As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the State Funeral. 

‘They are under no obligation to do and this is entirely at the discretion of the individual organisations.

‘If sporting fixtures or events are planned for the day of the State Funeral, organisations may want to adjust the event timings so they do not clash with the timings of the funeral services and associated processions. 

‘As a mark of respect, and in keeping with the tone of National Mourning, organisers 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.’ Play at the BMW PGA Championship was stopped following the news. Flags on the grounds were lowered to half mast shortly after the announcement and play was scrapped on Friday+9

Play at the BMW PGA Championship was stopped following the news. Flags on the grounds were lowered to half mast shortly after the announcement and play was scrapped on Friday

Several sporting events had already been cancelled prior to the guidance. Friday’s fixture between England and South Africa at The Oval, along with all scheduled matches in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, have not taken place. 

Northampton announced the postponement of their Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Saracens scheduled on Thursday evening and the Scottish Rugby Union has postponed all domestic competitive games this weekend as a mark of respect.

The women’s summer Test international between Scotland and Spain on Sunday has also been called off after Buckingham Palace announced the passing of the Queen on Thursday evening.

Play at the BMW PGA Championship was also stopped following the news. Flags on the grounds were lowered to half mast shortly after the announcement and play was scrapped on Friday. 

WHICH SPORTING EVENTS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF THE QUEEN?

Football

The Premier League have announced that all of this weekend’s matches have been postponed to honour Queen Elizabeth II following her death at the age of 96 on Thursday. 

The FA confirmed all football across the country would also be called off, including the EFL and opening games of the new WSL season, as well as matches in the Barclay’s Women’s Championship, Women’s FA Cup and the FA Trophy.

The National League has also cancelled their programme of fixtures for Saturday and Sunday across steps one to six and grassroots football matches in England have also been postponed to mark the death of the Queen. 

The Government earlier advised that no sporting events should go ahead this weekend – or on the day of the Queen’s funeral – but left the final decision up to the individual organisations.

The Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish Women’s Premier League and Highland & Lowland Leagues have agreed that all professional football matches will be postponed this weekend as a mark of respect. 

FA Wales have announced that games from the 9th to the 12th of September have been postponed. 

Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Real Sociedad at Old Trafford and West Ham’s game against FCSB in the Europa Conference League at the London Stadium went ahead on Thursday evening with pre-match tributes.

The Northern Ireland Football League announced that Friday night’s matches between Cliftonville and Glentoran and Larne and Dungannon have been postponed.

The English Football League also confirmed that Friday night’s Championship game between Burnley and Norwich and the League Two match between Tranmere and Stockport had been postponed, with a decision on Saturday’s fixtures yet to be made.

The Irish FA has announced that all football in Northern Ireland scheduled for this weekend will not take place. 

All of the Premier League 2 fixtures have been cancelled, as well as the Championship match between Burnley and Norwich.

Tonight’s League Two fixture between Tranmere Rovers and Stockport County has also been postponed. 

Cricket

Friday’s play between England and South Africa men at The Oval, along with all scheduled matches in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, will not take place.

Rugby Union

Northampton announced the postponement of their Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Saracens scheduled for Thursday evening.

The Scottish Rugby Union has postponed all domestic competitive games this weekend as a mark of respect and the women’s summer Test international between Scotland and Spain on Sunday is also off.

Bristol Bears against Bath Rugby has been postponed from Friday evening to a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday, following the decision of the Premiership board. The rest of the Saturday Premiership Rugby matches will go ahead.

Rugby League

The RFL postponed Friday’s Betfred Championship fixture between Sheffield Eagles and Dewsbury Rams, but the first Super League elimination play-off between Catalans Dragons and Leeds will go ahead as it is taking place in Perpignan, France. 

Further announcements about the weekend’s fixtures at all levels were set to be made ‘as soon as possible’, the governing body said. 

Golf

Play was suspended for the day at the BMW PGA Championship and there will be no play on Friday.  

However, organisers later revealed they are planning to restart at Wentworth this weekend, awaiting guidance from Buckingham Palace.

Formula 1

Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled with a minute’s silence planned before practice on Friday and another expected before the race.

Boxing

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) stated that all fights on Friday would not go ahead as planned.

The weigh-in for Saturday’s proposed bout between Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields will take place behind closed doors. No announcement has yet been made about the weekend’s fight at The O2 in London. 

Tennis

The US Open held a brief tribute to the Queen during the women’s semi-finals on Thursday night in New York. With Brits Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski on either side of the net for the men’s double’s final on Friday, the pair are expected to wear black armbands to mark the Queen’s passing.  

Horse racing

Horse racing was a much loved passion of the Queen. Events were cancelled for Friday and Saturday, while evening cards at Southwell and Chelmsford on Thursday were abandoned after the news of her death was confirmed around 6.30pm.  

On Sunday, racing returns, led with the St Leger in a revised nine-race programme at Doncaster racecourse. 

Sunday’s card at Chepstow in Wales will also proceed as normal, but Musselburgh in Scotland has been cancelled because the Queen’s body will be lying in rest in Edinburgh. 

The Queen’s horse King’s Lynn has not been declared for the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, on Sunday, after being initially entered. 

Athletics

The Great North Run, the world’s largest half-marathon, will go ahead on Sunday. Organisers cancelled its 5k sister event on Friday. 

Richmond RUN-FEST has been postponed, because their route would take runners through two locations owned in part by Historic Royal Palaces and a floral tribute to Elizabeth in the Royal Borough’s Old Deer Park. 

Cycling

Friday’s Tour of Britain stage was promptly cancelled and later on Thursday evening the rest of the tour, which was set to finish on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, was called off entirely.

Ice Hockey

Premier Sports Elite League Ice Hockey will begin tonight as previously planned, following a board meeting. Fixtures will start with a two-minute silence for the Queen, followed by the playing of the national anthem. 

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