Sports

Arsenal-PSV postponed but EFL games to go ahead


The LED board shows a photo Queen Elizabeth II as players of West Ham United and FCSB observe a minutes silence

Three Premier League matches have been postponed this weekend before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Chelsea’s home game with Liverpool and Leeds United’s trip to Manchester United have been called off.

Brighton against Crystal Palace had already been called off because of rail strikes and remains postponed.

The other league matches between 16 and 18 September will take place after football paused last weekend as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death.

The Queen’s funeral will be held on Monday 19 September.

“Following extensive consultation with clubs, police, local safety advisory groups and other relevant authorities, there was no other option but to postpone the three fixtures,” said a Premier League 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.

“New dates for the postponed matches will be announced in due course.”

Brighton were scheduled to host Palace on Saturday and, while a rail strike on that day has been suspended following the death of the Queen, the game will not go ahead.

The other two postponed games were due to take place on Sunday.

“The UK Football Policing Unit and National Police Chiefs’ Council have worked closely with the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association to balance the policing requirements following the death of Her Majesty the Queen, daily policing and enabling as many football matches as possible to go ahead as planned,” said an NPCC statement.

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Chelsea’s game against Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League on Wednesday is still on, but Arsenal’s Europa League tie with PSV Eindhoven on Thursday has been postponed.

All English, Welsh and Northern Irish football and senior Scottish football was postponed over the weekend but matches across the game are set to resume.

English Football League fixtures will return from Tuesday, while the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship – due to start last weekend – will take place as scheduled.

Football will resume in Northern Ireland on Monday, while Welsh football will restart on Tuesday. and Scottish football on Wednesday.

National League fixtures will go ahead from Monday, along with all matches across grassroots football in England.

The Football Association confirmed all scheduled matches on the day of the Queen’s funeral will be postponed.

In a statement, the FA said: “All matches held at stadiums are subject to leagues and clubs working with the relevant authorities to stage these fixtures, as usual practice.

“We will be recommending to clubs, leagues and competitions across the country that a minute’s silence is observed before matches are played, and that black armbands should be worn where possible.”

Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven off

Arsenal’s match with PSV Eindhoven was scheduled to take place at Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Uefa said a new date for the match would be communicated in due course.

About 3,000 PSV fans were expected at the match.

A Uefa statement, announcing the postponement, said: “This is due to the severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

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EFL fixtures to restart

At EFL games, tributes will be paid to the Queen at grounds, with a minute’s silence to be held before matches and the national anthem played.

Black armbands will be worn and flags will be flown at half-mast.

In a statement, the EFL said it would “continue to work with forces in respect of any challenges that may emerge regarding policing of specific fixtures”.

It added: “Consideration to individual circumstances will be made on a case-by-case basis, in line with standard match Safety Advisory Group protocols.”

There are six Championship fixtures scheduled for Tuesday, alongside full programmes in League One and League Two. There are then six more Championship matches on Wednesday.

What about other European fixtures?

Uefa has already moved Rangers’ Champions League home game against Napoli from Tuesday to Wednesday “due to the severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”.

Meanwhile, Tottenham have confirmed their Champions League game away to Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday is “going ahead as planned”, while Liverpool are hosting Ajax at Anfield on the same day and Celtic travel to Poland to face Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

Manchester City’s Champions League home game with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday is due to go ahead, as is Manchester United’s Europa League game with Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova on Thursday.

In the Europa Conference League, West Ham are away to Danish side Silkeborg on Thursday, while Hearts travel to Latvian side Rigas Futbola Skola.

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