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Premier League matches postponed ahead of Queen’s funeral

Featured image credit: Harry Walsh on Unsplash

Football’s English Premier League will resume this weekend, although two matches on Sunday have been postponed due to demands placed on police resources ahead of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.

Manchester United’s home match against Leeds United and Chelsea’s game against Liverpool have both been called off, with new dates to be confirmed in due course.

Brighton & Hove Albion’s match against Crystal Palace on Saturday had already been postponed due to planned rail strikes. Although the rail strikes will no longer be taking place following the Queen’s death, the match will still not go ahead.

All Premier League matches last weekend were called off as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death on Thursday.

All matches across England and Scotland were also postponed last weekend but the English Football League (EFL) and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) have confirmed that their programmes will resume this week. The Women’s Super League season, which had been due to start last weekend, will now begin this week, while fixtures in Wales and Northern Ireland will also resume.

The Premier League said it was left with “no other option” but to postpone the three fixtures following extensive consultation with clubs, police, local Safety Advisory Groups and other relevant authorities.

The league said in a statement: “The Premier League would like to thank the UK Football Policing Unit and other police forces across the country, as well as our broadcast partners, for their support during this process, and will continue to liaise with them ahead of the weekend. For the matches being played during the period of national mourning, tributes will be paid to the Queen at Premier League stadiums.”

The EFL added: “With a national policing plan now in operation, the League and clubs will continue to work with forces in respect of any challenges that may emerge regarding policing of specific fixtures. Consideration to individual circumstances will be made on a case-by-case basis, in line with standard match Safety Advisory Group protocols.”

Arsenal’s UEFA Europa League match against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday has also been postponed, but Chelsea’s Champions League game against RB Salzburg tomorrow (Wednesday) will go ahead as planned. Rangers’ Champions League home match against Napoli has been pushed back 24 hours to tomorrow night, with away fans banned to reduce demands on the police.

UEFA said the decision to postpone the Arsenal match was taken due to the “severe limitations” on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning period.

Other sports such as cricket, rugby union and golf were postponed on Friday as a mark of respect following the death of the Queen, before resuming at the weekend. The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed that there will be no events on Monday, the day of the funeral.