Football in the United Kingdom has been halted for the weekend in tribute to the death of the Queen, while other sports continue in the hope of communal remembrance.
Here, the PA news agency looks at how the national sport opted to stop while others pressed on.
What has football said?
As a mark of respect to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, this weekend’s Premier League match round will be postponed.
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 9, 2022
The Premier League and EFL led football’s way by opting to postpone the weekend’s fixtures, “to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s long and unwavering service to the country”. No football will take place this weekend, and fixtures for the weekend of September 17 and 18 are also in serious doubt. European fixtures on English soil could yet take place in the middle of next week however.
What has the reaction been?
I know it’s only a game and some things are much bigger but imagine all our games went ahead this weekend.
Black armbands, silences observed, national anthem, Royal band playing etc to the millions around the world watching ?
Isn’t that a better send off ?
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) September 9, 2022
The football authorities felt compelled to halt proceedings this weekend out of respect and admiration for the Queen. The wider footballing community, while respectful of the reasoning, appeared to tend to favour staging the events as their own means of tribute.
The Football Supporters’ Association said it had shared a view with the authorities that many fans would have felt not continuing with games was “an opportunity missed for football to pay its own special tributes”, but understood the reasoning behind the postponement decision.
When will the postponed matches be played?
Further to discussions on Friday morning it has been determined that all EFL fixtures from 9-10 September will be postponed as a mark of respect by the National Sport to the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.#EFL https://t.co/TKtWrbalcg
— EFL Communications (@EFL_Comms) September 9, 2022
A packed calendar means the postponed fixtures might not be fulfilled until January. Neither the Premier League nor the EFL were in position to make any arrangements on Friday, and any rescheduling could take some time. The winter World Cup in Qatar has already added great strain to this season schedule, leaving free windows for rearrangements few and far between.
What happens next?
The FA, Premier League and EFL are expected to remain in consultation with the UK Government and other agencies over scheduling for the weekend of September 17 and 18. If those fixtures are postponed too, then the Premier League would not return to action until the first weekend of October due to this month’s international break.