The FA Cup third and fourth round replays could be axed this season as clubs try to make up for games postponed following the Queen’s death.
Replays have been halted each of the last two seasons and the PA news agency understands this is a solution being considered to help resolve the backlog.
Last weekend’s Premier League program was canceled out of respect and two more high-profile games at Chelsea and Manchester United have been canceled next Sunday.
This leaves clubs with a potential backlog of play later in the season, exacerbated by the break in the campaign caused by the World Cup in Qatar.
Seven high-profile games are taking place over the weekend, with Brighton v Crystal Palace’s other game already being postponed due to planned rail strikes.
“After extensive consultations with clubs, the police, local safety advisory groups and other relevant authorities, there was no option but to postpone the three games,” the Premier League said in a statement.
“The Premier League would like to thank the UK Football Policing Unit and other police forces across the country, as well as our broadcast partners for their support throughout this process and will continue to work with them ahead of the weekend.
“Tributes will be paid to the Queen at Premier League stadiums for matches played during the period of national mourning.
“New dates for the postponed games will be announced in due course.”
Kick-off times for two of Sunday’s games have also been changed, with Brentford v Arsenal now starting at 12pm instead of 2pm and Everton v West Ham starting at 2.15pm.
Thursday’s Europa League match between Arsenal and PSV has been postponed due to police forces in London in the run-up to the Queen’s funeral on Monday, May 19.
But Chelsea’s Champions League midweek game against Red Bull Salzburg will go ahead as scheduled and the EFL midweek program will not be affected.
In Scotland, Rangers’ Champions League game against Napoli has been postponed a day to Wednesday 14 September due to “severe limitations on police resources and organizational problems”.
However, professional domestic football in the country will resume this weekend, the Scottish Football Association said on Monday. The Football Association of Wales said all of its competitions can resume from Tuesday.
All EFL games scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday are set to go ahead and clubs plan to pay tribute to the Queen.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/fa-cup-replays-schedule-queen-death-b2165924.html FA Cup third and fourth round replays could be axed to reduce backlog