Richard Keys has defended the decision to postpone all football in the UK this weekend and says other sports should be “ashamed” of being resumed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Ten Premier League and six Scottish Premiership games were due to take place this weekend but all have been canceled out of respect for the Queen.
The decision was made by the Football Association on Friday, less than 24 hours after the death of Queen Elizabeth II – Britain’s longest-serving monarch – at the age of 96.
While football ground to a halt, many other sports returned this weekend, with the crucial friendly between England and South Africa continuing on Saturday.
England cricket captain Ben Stokes said the team was keen to play in memory of the Queen and a minute’s silence was observed with God Save The King followed by applause from the crowd at The Oval.
Golf’s PGA Championship also restarted on Saturday, while rugby union’s Premiership season got underway after two games were postponed on Friday.
But the boxing world title fight between Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields has been postponed, along with all British Boxing Board of Control tournaments.
Sports broadcaster Keys agreed with the decision to postpone all football in the UK, saying sports that have decided to continue over the weekend “should be ashamed”.
“Football had no choice but to stop this weekend,” he posted on Twitter. “Anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong.
“The sports that played should be ashamed. Did the decisions have something to do with the fact that the events were not insured against cancellation? I hear it might have done.’
Manchester United and West Ham played in the Europa League on Thursday night – just hours after the Queen’s death was announced – and said it had been decided to go ahead “at the direction of the FA and UEFA”.
Meanwhile, the Premier League is yet to confirm if all games will go ahead as planned over the weekend leading up to the Queen’s funeral.
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September.
All horse racing, which is the only major sport in Britain scheduled to take place on the day, has been postponed but there is currently no need for weekend sporting events to be cancelled.
Premier League champions Manchester City will visit Wolves on Saturday, while Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are in action on Sunday.
Following the decision to postpone all football in the UK, the Football Association said: “Her Majesty the Queen has been a long-standing Patron of the FA and has left a lasting and indelible legacy on our national game.
“All flags at Wembley Stadium and St George’s Park will continue to fly at half-staff over the weekend.
“Our thoughts remain with our President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, and the entire Royal Family at this time.”
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