Football fixtures in UK called off following the death of the Queen

·6-min read

All football fixtures in the UK have been postponed this weekend following the death of Her Majesty The Queen on Thursday.

Sports event organisers from across the country were involved in a call with Government on Friday morning to discuss the staging of scheduled games.

Official Government guidance on the period of mourning published on Friday morning appeared to give them the go-ahead to stage events as planned this weekend, but advised against putting on anything that would clash with Her Majesty’s funeral.

However, the Football Association later announced all fixtures had been postponed as a mark of respect, including Leeds against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Monday night, with the governing bodies in Scotland and then Wales also following the same protocol.

The Irish Football Association had earlier confirmed that football at all levels in Northern Ireland had been cancelled this weekend as a mark of respect.

In a statement, the FA said: “Her Majesty the Queen was a long-standing Patron of The Football Association and has left a lasting and indelible legacy on our national game.

“As a mark of respect, following the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, English football has united to postpone all football fixtures between 9-11 September.

“The FA can confirm that all football fixtures across the Barclays Women’s Super League, Barclays Women’s Championship, the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, and the Isuzu FA Trophy, will be postponed this weekend.”

Fixtures across the National League, Women’s Football Pyramid and down to grassroots have also been postponed.

The FA added flags at Wembley and St George’s Park will continue to fly at half-mast over the weekend.

FA chair Debbie Hewitt said: “In a life dedicated to this country, we have been humbled by Her Majesty the Queen’s presence at English football’s greatest moments, and we have been truly honoured to have had her as our patron.

The Queen presented England captain Bobby Moore with the trophy after England won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley
The Queen presented England captain Bobby Moore with the trophy after England won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley (PA Archive)

“Like everyone else in this country, we are devastated by our loss but uplifted by the fact that this inspiring and warm human being touched the lives of us all in football, in a way that we will be eternally grateful for.

“To honour her memory and lifelong commitment to our national game, English football has united to postpone football fixtures at all levels this weekend. This is our opportunity for the football community across the country to pause and reflect during this period of national mourning.

“As we turn to this next era, we ask you to join us all at the FA in recognising, thanking and praising Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for everything that she did for our beautiful game.”

Commenting on the decision, Scottish Football Association president Rod Petrie said: “We spoke with our counterparts across the UK this morning and in discussions with our colleagues across the professional game in Scotland it was agreed that this was the appropriate step to take following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

The EFL had already postponed two matches scheduled for Friday – Burnley versus Norwich in the Sky Bet Championship and Tranmere against Stockport in League Two.

Further updates regarding Premier League and EFL fixtures during the period of mourning will be provided in due course.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters added: “We and our clubs would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s long and unwavering service to our country.

“As our longest-serving monarch, she has been an inspiration and leaves behind an incredible legacy following a life of dedication.

“This is a tremendously sad time for not just the nation but also for the millions of people around the world who admired her, and we join together with all those in mourning her passing.”

The Football Supporters’ Association said it has 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.

“We believe football is at its finest when bringing people together at times of huge national significance – be those moments of joy or moments of mourning,” the FSA said in a statement.

“Our view, which we shared with the football authorities, is that most supporters would have liked to go to games this weekend and pay their respect to the Queen alongside their fellow fans.

“Not everyone will agree, so there was no perfect decision for the football authorities, but many supporters will feel this was an opportunity missed for football to pay its own special tributes.

“As usual, the Football Supporters’ Association will be collating advice about supporters’ entitlements regarding expenses incurred relating to postponed games this weekend.”

Discussions with UEFA are ongoing with regard to the scheduled European fixtures next week involving British clubs in the Champions League, Europa League and European Conference League.

Arsenal are confident their Europa League fixture against PSV Eindhoven will go ahead as planned on Thursday night.

The fixture is scheduled to take place at the Emirates Stadium and the PA news agency understands that the Metropolitan Police have indicated to the club that they are comfortable with the match being played.