All the English Premier League games for this weekend, have been postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth, despite the UK Government stating they were under no obligation to do so.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) held a call with all major sports at 9.30am to determine the plan of action for the rest of this weekend’s calendar and left the decision over events up to the individual organisations.
However, the Premier League and EFL released a statement saying they had made the decision to postpone this weekend’s English Premier League games to honour Queen Elizabeth’s ‘extraordinary life and contribution to the nation’.
The Premier League released the following statement: ‘At a meeting this morning [Friday], Premier League clubs paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
‘To honour her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation, and as a mark of respect, this weekend’s Premier League match round will be postponed, including Monday evening’s game.’
Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive, 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.’
There were also concerns that policing issues would affect the games if they were to go ahead as planned on the weekend.
The Premier League have said that further updates regarding the postponed fixtures during the period of mourning will be provided in due course.
Police chiefs are currently meeting to determine whether forces would be too stretched next weekend between Friday 16 September and Sunday 18 September.
If next week’s matches are postponed then there could be no Premier League football until October 1 – nearly a month away – because of the upcoming international break.
The postponement of the entire programme could create fixture congestion later in the season as there are no free midweeks between now and the mid-winter break for the World Cup – which begins in Qatar just seven days after the Premier League pauses.
The UK Government said there was no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period.
However, they said that the decision was left at the discretion of individual organisations and hinted that they should ‘hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures’ if they decide to go ahead.
Despite being down to individual governing bodies, the chair of the DCMS Select Committee Julian Knight told TalkSPORT that no sporting events should take place out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II – who passed away peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon.
Nevertheless, Cricket, golf, rugby league and rugby union all appear to be preparing to resume on Saturday – while the Great North Run, the world’s largest half marathon – is also going ahead.
A statement from the Government read: ‘There is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period.
‘This is at the discretion of individual organisations. As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the State Funeral.
‘They are under no obligation to do and this is entirely at the discretion of the individual organisations.
‘If sporting fixtures or events are planned for the day of the State Funeral, organisations may want to adjust the event timings so they do not clash with the timings of the funeral services and associated processions.
‘As a mark of respect, and in keeping with the tone of National Mourning, organisers may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures, and players may wish to wear black armbands.’