This weekend’s Premier League and EFL games have been canceled as the UK enters a period of mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Friday’s league and second tier games had already been scrapped, but sporting bodies took time to review official mourning guidelines and consult with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) before issuing one decide about the events of this weekend.
It has been said that top-flight clubs were “virtually certain” the games would not go ahead as planned, and now the Premier League has confirmed the final round of games has been postponed – and unlikely to be played until 2023 due to the World Cup.
A Premier League statement on Friday morning read: “At a meeting this morning, the clubs of the Premier League 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 will be postponed, including Monday night’s game.”
A statement from the EFL read: “Following discussions on Friday morning, it has been determined that all EFL games from 9-10 September will be postponed as a mark of respect for the national sport following the death of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
“This is in line with the approach the Premier League and FA will be taking to their competitions this weekend.
Queen Elizabeth II dead: What’s next?
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died after 70 years on the throne, her death was announced by Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2022.
She died aged 96 at her home in Balmoral, with her son, now King Charles, and daughter Princess Anne at her side.
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“Further information on how football, clubs and their supporters will commemorate Her Majesty’s reign will be confirmed in due course.
“Details of rearranged matches will be announced in due course.”
Premier League 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 extremely sad time not only for the nation but for the millions of people around the world who came to admire her and we join everyone in mourning her passing.”
On Friday, the government said there was “no obligation” to postpone games this weekend and that the decision to cancel was “at the discretion of individual organisations”.
However, the Premier League announced its decision shortly after meeting all 20 clubs at 11am on Friday morning.
A statement titled “Guide for the period of national mourning” said: “There is no obligation to cancel or reschedule events and sporting events or to close entertainment venues during the period of national mourning. This is at the discretion of each organization.
“As a mark of respect, organizations may wish to consider canceling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the state funeral. You are not required to do so and this is entirely at the discretion of each organization.
“If sporting events or events are planned for the day of the state funeral, organizations may wish to adjust event times so that they do not conflict with the times of the funeral service and associated processions.
‘As a mark of respect and in keeping with the tone of national mourning, organizers may wish to observe a period of silence and/or play the national anthem at the start of events or sporting events and players may wish to wear black armbands.’
When news of the Queen’s death broke around 6.30pm Thursday night, golf action at the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth was immediately suspended, while play on Friday’s England-South Africa cricket test at The Oval was canceled.
Arsenal were playing FC Zurich at the time, with the two teams observing a minute’s silence before the start of the second half, while Manchester United’s Europa League game against Real Sociedad and West Ham’s clash against FCSB were also taking place, as the fans were already on their way to the stadium.
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