The Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League have postponed their games for this weekend following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.
Football bodies held an emergency meeting with the government on Friday morning to decide whether to postpone the weekend’s games and have opted to cancel all games as a show of respect to the monarch after her 70-year reign as Britain is in a period of national mourning ensues.
A Premier League statement confirmed: “At a meeting this morning, Premier League clubs paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To honor her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation, and as a mark of respect, this weekend’s Premier League round of play is postponed, including Monday night’s game.”
Decisions on postponements were made after considering the Cabinet’s official grief guidelines, although it was left to individual sporting event organizers to decide how to proceed – with cancellations not being mandatory.
The EFL and FA were unanimous in their decision with the Premier League also postponing WSL’s opening weekend as a mark of respect. The decision will also affect all grassroots football under the FA’s jurisdiction, while Scottish Premiership and Scottish Football League games have also been postponed.
A decision on next weekend’s domestic games or midweek European action to be played in the UK has yet to be made, but the Premier League said further updates would be provided in due course. The national mourning will continue until Monday September 19, the day of the state funeral, and concerns about police mean the status of next weekend’s games is currently uncertain.
The emergency meeting, held by the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this morning, involved all sports bodies, who were told there was “no obligation to cancel or postpone any sporting event” during the national period of mourning. Instead, it was left to the “discretion of individual organizations.”
Another meeting between the Premier League, EFL and FA then took place at 11am and lasted around 25 minutes. The Independent understands all panels were consistent with the idea that postponing games would be the “most appropriate” decision while weighing how best to pay respects to the Queen.
Other sporting events, such as England’s friendly against South Africa at the Oval and the PGA Championship at Wentworth, can still take place this weekend after Friday’s game was postponed. Horse races are now being moved from Saturday to Sunday
The shifts in men’s football will further weigh on the headache caused by the planning of the Qatar World Cup in November, while it will be a blow for WSL ahead of its opening weekend. Several WSL games, such as Tottenham’s game against Manchester United and Chelsea’s game against West Ham, were set to be played in major stadiums following the success of Euro 2022 and postponing could prove difficult.
Elsewhere, there will be little leeway to rearrange postponed European games ahead of the World Cup in November. Rangers, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are all scheduled to play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week. The Independent understands discussions are still ongoing, but clubs involved could be worried if European games are played in between the postponed domestic league games.
After the Premier League and clubs meeting late Friday morning, Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “We and our clubs wish to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s long and steadfast service to our country. As our longest-serving monarch, she has been an inspiration and leaves an incredible legacy after a lifetime of dedication.
“This is an immensely sad time not only for the nation but for the millions of people around the world who admired her and we join all those who mourn her passing.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league-fixtures-cancelled-postponed-efl-queen-death-b2163532.html Premier League and EFL postpone games after Queen’s death