How Queen Elizabeth's death affects British football: Champions League match moved, Premier League matches postponed

How Queen Elizabeth’s death affects British football: Champions League match moved, Premier League matches postponed

The death of Queen Elizabeth II was an event of such momentous proportions that its impact was felt far beyond the political arena, or however one might choose to define the 96-year-old’s place in British society. The period of national mourning the UK has entered will have an economic, social and cultural impact, so it was perhaps inevitable that the national football obsession would prove to be a prism through which this historic moment was perceived.

The Premier League is part of the national fabric, a weekend ritual for hundreds and thousands, but also a product consumed by a global audience of millions. Caught between those two pillars, the English top flight cannot always make all his followers happy and nowhere has that been more evident than his decision to postpone the races in light of the monarch’s death.

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Which matches have been postponed?

On Friday morning, less than 18 hours after Buckingham Palace confirmed Queen Elizabeth II’s death, English football announced that out of respect it would postpone all matches to be played in the country this weekend, all the way to the grassroots. respect to a woman who left “a lasting and indelible legacy on our national game”. The football associations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales soon followed.

It was not an approach shared by other sports. England cricket captain Ben Stokes voiced the thoughts of many when he said he would “feel the honor to play in memory” of a woman who loved sports. The singing of God Save the King as the third Test between England and South Africa resumed on Saturday was, for some, one of the most poignant moments of a weekend of tribute to Elizabeth II and her successor, King Charles III. The late Queen’s beloved horse races also took place on Sundays, with rugby matches being played across the country.

While the football suspension has been finalized by the FA – although all scheduled games for Elizabeth II’s state funeral on September 19 have been postponed – there are still more complications to be addressed. That already means that three extra games have been removed from the program this week. Thursday evening’s Europa League meeting between Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven will not take place this weekend during two Premier League matches — Manchester United against Leeds United and Chelsea against Liverpool — have also been postponed. The match between Brighton and Crystal Palace had been postponed due to a railway strike scheduled for this weekend; although the union action has been cancelled, the competition will not go ahead.

A full list of postponed matches in the Premier League and European competition can be found below

Which games will continue?

There will be a full series of matches in the EFL, while the next Premier League matches will take place.

Aston Villa against Southampton (3:00 p.m. ET)
Nottingham Forest against Fulham (3:00 p.m. ET)

Wolverhampton vagrants vs. Manchester City (7:30 a.m. ET)
Newcastle United vs. AFC Bournemouth (10 a.m. ET)
Tottenham Hotspur against Leicester City (12:30 a.m. ET)

Brentford vs. Arsenal (7:00am ET, previously scheduled for 9:30am ET)
Everton against West Ham United (9:15 a.m. ET, previously scheduled for 9:00 a.m. ET)

Why have these matches been postponed?

Prior to her funeral, the former monarch will lie in state, first in Edinburgh’s St Giles and then at London’s Westminster Hall from 5pm BST on Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps more, are expected to travel to the capital to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-serving monarch, and events leading up to her funeral next Monday are expected to take a heavy toll on police resources.

As such, the Rangers’ Champions League game against Napoli has been moved from Wednesday to Thursday with the expectation that crowds in Scotland will have eased once Queen Elizabeth II is no longer in state in the country. Supporters from Italy are not allowed to travel to the game and in return Rangers will not receive any payouts for their game at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

The serious constraints on police resources and organizational problems related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II also prompted UEFA and Arsenal to cancel the Gunners’ Europa League game against PSV Eindhoven, which is expected to be a would bring a significant quota. from traveling fans from the Netherlands, on Thursday. A game on a larger ground on a date closer to the funeral in a way explains why the Metropolitan Police were not as confident in their ability to beat that game as Chelsea’s Champions League tie with Red Bull Salzburg, set to take place on Wednesday as scheduled.

By Sunday, crowds in London are expected to have grown further and it was long expected that there would be insufficient police presence for Chelsea’s game against Liverpool. Indeed, the Metropolitan Police will deploy officers from outside the capital, meaning Greater Manchester Police will not have the capacity to cover the derby between Manchester United and Leeds.

“After extensive talks with the Premier League, Greater Manchester Police and Trafford Council, the decision has been made to postpone Manchester United’s game against Leeds United,” said a statement from Manchester United. “This is thanks to the Greater Manchester Police Force supporting troops across the UK at locations and events of major importance following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

Why are delayed games not switched?

In the case of Arsenal’s Europa League game, it’s clear why they can’t just turn their home games around so that The Gunners play in Eindhoven on Thursday. The game may be played, but thousands of fans planning to make the trip for the away game would suddenly find themselves out of pocket with travel plans that don’t help them anymore.

As for the Premier League in addition to the above (for many a train ticket from Liverpool to London wouldn’t be cheaper than a flight to Eindhoven) there is of course the sporting minefield that opens up when a range of conditions are deemed suitable for switching home and away games. If a monarch’s funeral suffices, would bad weather do the job in one city and not another?

There are also other security issues to consider for these particular games. Shifting the Chelsea game to Anfield would mean Liverpool and Everton would play in the same city on the same day; these two are ‘partner clubs’ in the Premier League lexicon and when one plays at home the other always plays away. Had Manchester United’s match in Leeds been reversed, Erik ten Hag’s side would also have had three consecutive away games, something the Premier League usually never allows. Add to that the police complications and it’s clear why there wasn’t an easy solution to turn these games around.

When will the postponed games be played?

This is where things get complicated, thanks in no small part to the colossal presence of a mid-season World Cup. The determination of clubs across Europe not to shorten their playlists in any way to make way for this most unusual campaign, leaves English football with little breathing room to play any more matches.

This is a particular problem for Arsenal. The draw for the knockout rounds of the Europa League will take place on November 7, and UEFA wants the group stage to be over by then. However, there are no more than four days between the Gunners’ matches between now and the start of the World Cup later in November; the club is expected to seek approval from the Premier League to postpone a game with their match against Manchester City on October 19 which is considered the most logical date by insiders. Club sources at the Emirates Stadium told CBS Sports that the prospect of losing the game, as Tottenham were forced to face Stade Rennais last season, was never on the table in dialogue with UEFA and that Arsenal, wanting to play the game, are striving to make room in the list of programs “somehow”.

As for the Premier League matches, there is no available date for them to be completed before the end of 2022. Indeed, the first specifically scheduled free midweek in the top flight calendar won’t arrive until April. In between, there are dates around the EFL Cup and FA Cup reruns that could become available if clubs are not involved in those competitions, but it would require a degree of cooperation from broadcasters which they don’t always show easily. The same can be said of UEFA, which generally does not approve of top-level domestic matches being played at the same time as Champions League matches.

In recent years, the FA has often been the one to make way on the fixture list, with FA Cup reruns canceled in the past two years as COVID-19 ravaged the schedule. At the time of writing, there will be reruns in the third round, where clubs from the Premier League and Championship compete, and the fourth.

Particular headaches could well come for those teams involved in European competition. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United now have two games to catch up on. Should they be involved in the final stages of the Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League, the possibilities to make up for these matches will be very narrow. It’s not that the season can just slide past its scheduled May 28 close, the FA Cup final coming next week and then the Champions League final and an international break immediately after, certainly more than enough to keep the last reserves of energy from the player base.

For now, all the Premier League needs is a mild, snow-free winter and no return to the COVID-19-induced match drama of a year ago. When the new year comes, they should have a clearer idea of ​​how the hell to make up these games.

Full list of postponed Premier League and European matches

week 6

  • Arsenal vs. Everton
  • Bournemouth vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United
  • Fulham vs. Chelsea
  • Leicester City vs. Aston Villa
  • Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
  • Southampton vs. Brentford
  • West Ham United vs. Newcastle United

week 7

  • Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Crystal Palace
  • Chelsea vs. Liverpool
  • Manchester United vs. Leeds United

Champions League

  • rangers vs. Napoli (originally scheduled for Wednesday, September 14, now takes place on Thursday, September 15)

Europa League

  • Arsenal vs. PSV Eindhoven

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