Resourcing issues could mean the Queen’s funeral impacts on sporting fixtures

·4-min read

Governing bodies will continue to assess any possible impact the Queen’s funeral on September 19 could have with scheduled fixtures and events, the PA news agency understands.

All football fixtures in the UK were postponed this weekend, along with Friday and Saturday’s planned horse racing meetings, as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death on Thursday.

However, many other sporting occasions went ahead, offering spectators and participants opportunities to pay their respects.

In the Test match between England and South Africa at the Kia Oval, players wore black armbands and there was a rendition of God Save the King.

On day three at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, a two-minute period of silence was held, while there were also tributes ahead of the Betfred Super League Play-Off Eliminator between Huddersfield and Salford as well as Gallagher Premiership matches.

The official mourning guidance, published by the Government on Friday morning, stated there was no obligation on sports organisations to cancel or reschedule events.

As it stands, the scheduled English Football League programme is set to recommence on Tuesday.

However, PA understands there maybe resourcing issues, particularly in respect of policing, associated with some fixtures which will need to be discussed on a fixture-by-fixture basis over the period ahead, in line with each local authority’s Safety Advisory Group protocols.

Millwall are set to play two home games next week, against QPR on Wednesday and Blackpool on Saturday.

The Lions stressed there was currently no obligation for any postponement of fixtures next week and the intention was to fulfil them as scheduled.

However, Millwall accept the additional pressure on staging events around the capital during the period of official national mourning could prove challenging.

Flowers outside Buckingham Palace in London following the death of the Queen
People have flocked to London to pay their respects following the death of the Queen (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“There are, however, considerable demands on police resources at this unprecedented time – particularly in London – and such pressures are extending into the stewarding industry,” a Millwall statement read.

“The club is conscious of the impact of these factors, but is working tirelessly to overcome such hurdles in order to meet the necessary safety regulations required to host the two matches as planned.

“This is a very unique and challenging time for the country and for so many different industries and as such situations are dynamic and ever-changing.”

In a statement confirming the weekend’s postponements, the Premier League said further updates regarding fixtures during the period of mourning will “be provided in due course”.

PA understands that position has not changed following confirmation the Queen’s funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey on September 19, which will be a public Bank Holiday.

The next set of Premier League games are on Friday night, when Aston Villa host Southampton and Fulham travel to Nottingham Forest.

In London, Tottenham take on Leicester at 5.30pm, while Sunday’s fixtures see Brentford play Arsenal at 2pm while Chelsea are at home to Liverpool in the 4.30pm live broadcast slot.

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.

Manchester City maintain the game against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday is definitely on.

Arsenal are confident their Europa League fixture against PSV Eindhoven will be played at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night and Manchester United have confirmed their trip to Sheriff Tiraspol will go ahead as scheduled.

The opening round of Gallagher Premiership fixtures did take place, with both games which were set for Friday evening pushed back into the weekend.

Players and fans at Bristol observe a minute’s silence in honour of the Queen
Players and fans at Bristol against Bath observed a minute’s silence in honour of the Queen (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Further guidance for matches and rugby activity during the remainder of the national mourning period is expected to follow as early as possible next week.

It is understood Premiership clubs again intend to pay tribute to the Queen in the next set of scheduled upcoming games ahead of September 19.

The Super League semi-finals set for Friday and Saturday next week will also go ahead as planned.

PA understands the Super League ‘Man of Steel’ awards which had been scheduled for September 19 are likely to be rescheduled to another week day.

There will be no racing in Britain on the day of the Queen’s funeral.

The British Horseracing Authority confirmed on Saturday evening that the September 19 meetings scheduled for Hamilton, Leicester, Warwick and Wolverhampton will be cancelled as a mark of respect.