Football fans hear this weekend’s matches will be postponed as other events axed
The decision to axe sporting fixtures to mark the Queen’s death have sparked a row in the sector with a BBC host claiming the monarch would not be happy with the postponements.
Gabby Logan, who presents hosted coverage of the Women’s Six Nations Championship for the broadcaster, questioned the wisdom of stopping games.
What events are off?
Football: Premier League, EFL, Women’s and National Leagues are all off
Cricket: Friday’s play between England and South Africa men at The Oval, along with all scheduled matches in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, will not take place.
Rugby Union: Northampton announced the postponement of their Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Saracens scheduled for Thursday evening.
Rugby League: The RFL postponed Friday’s Betfred Championship fixture between Sheffield Eagles and Dewsbury Rams, but the first Super League elimination play-off between Catalans Dragons and Leeds will go ahead as it is taking place in Perpignan, France.
Golf: Play was suspended for the day at the BMW PGA Championship and there will be no play on Friday.
Formula 1: Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled with a minute’s silence planned before practice on Friday and another expected before the race.
Horse racing: Racing at Southwell and Chelmsford on Thursday evening was abandoned. The British Horseracing Authority also announced the meetings scheduled for Friday – including the third day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster – have also been cancelled.
Athletics: The Great North Run, the world’s largest half-marathon, is set for Sunday. Organisers cancelled its 5k sister event on Friday, with a decision of the main race due on on Friday.
Cycling: Friday’s Tour of Britain stage was promptly cancelled and later on Thursday evening the rest of the tour, which was set to finish on the Isle of Wight on Sunday.
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And Sky Sports pundit and former footballer Gary Neville echoed the thoughts saying they should take place.
Gabby mused: ‘The Queen loved sport. I am not sure she’d be entirely happy with fixtures being postponed this weekend.
‘NB I appreciate that it’s an impossible decision and I am glad I didn’t have to make it.’
Gary added online: ‘Sport can demonstrate better than most the respect the Queen deserves .’
Former England striker Peter Crouch agreed: ‘I know it’s only a game and some things are much bigger but imagine all our games went ahead this weekend.
‘ Black armbands, silences observed, national anthem, Royal band playing etc to the millions around the world watching ? Isn’t that a better send off ?’
Manchester United and West Ham both played their Europa League and Europa Conference League games last night, but are expected to be an exception.
Those matches went ahead due to the amount of travelling fans in the UK and was a decision made by UEFA.
It came after Premier League clubs were said to believe it was ‘incredibly likely’ the weekend’s fixtures would be postponed.
Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive said this morning: ‘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.’
Other events were axed over the next few days in a mark of respect to Her Majesty.
Organisers are faced with the balancing act of showing respect, while still treating the ticket-paying public fairly.
There is ‘no obligation’ for events or sporting fixtures to be cancelled, or for entertainment venues to be closed, during the period of national mourning, the Government has said.
‘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.’
England Captain Ben Stokes suggested cricket should go ahead, posting ‘She loved sport, be honoured to play in her memory.’
A minute of silence is observed for Queen Elizabeth II West Ham United v Steaua Bucharest, Europa Conference League, on Thursday night
The cricket had been postponed but with be back on Sunday and Monday, the ECB confirmed
The Queen died yesterday in her loved Balmoral residence aged 96 after 70 years as monarch
A host of famous names questioned why sporting events had been cancelled this weekend
Yesterday the BBC announced that the Last Night Of The Proms was cancelled following the 96-year-old’s death.
It said the climax of its summer season of classical music concerts in the Royal Albert Hall would no longer go ahead.
Tonight’s Mercury Prize event has also been postponed with organisers saying the decision had been taken at ‘this time of great national sorrow’.
A spokesperson confirmed: ‘We know everyone involved in the Mercury Prize will understand.
‘Our thoughts and condolences are with The Royal Family at this very difficult time.’
The Queen’s favourite sport was also suspended in the wake of the monarch’s death.
Meetings scheduled for today, which included St Leger, were cancelled with more news expected regarding tomorrow’s proceedings.
The British Horseracing Authority said: ‘All of British Racing is in mourning today following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has already announced today’s men’s third Test between England and South Africa at the Oval was cancelled
Theatres have opted to continue with their planned performances but are expected to mark the nation’s grief
What will happen now that the Queen has died?
Today Operation London Bridge will swing into action, the period of ten days between the Queen’s death and her state funeral, which is expected to take place on Monday September 19, as the country is plunged into a period of official mourning.
The Queen’s coffin is expected to remain at Balmoral for at least the next two days before being flown back down to London next week.
But the pendulum to introduce His Majesty to his people will also begin to swing, with Charles and Camilla returning to London as King and Queen Consort today.
He is expected to hold his Accession Council tomorrow.
Last night Miss Truss hosted a meeting of ministers, police and royal officials to discuss arrangements for the period of mourning leading up to the Queen’s funeral.
‘Her Majesty has been one of the greatest and most influential supporters in the history of horse racing. Her passion for racing and the racehorse shone brightly throughout her life, not only through her close involvement in breeding and racing horses, but in her roles as a patron of The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and as the figurehead of Royal Ascot.
‘From her first-ever winner Monaveen, through stars such as Carrozza and Highclere, to the unforgettable Estimate, Her Majesty The Queen has helped to shape the breed and contributed to moments on the track that will go down in sporting folklore.
‘It is right, therefore, that all racing is suspended for today and tomorrow as we begin to grieve Her Majesty’s passing and remember her extraordinary life and contribution to our sport and our nation.’
In cricket, The England and Wales Cricket Board has already announced today’s men’s third Test between England and South Africa at the Oval was cancelled.
And the world of golf was also quick to suspend play as a mark of respect.
The first day of the PGA Championship at Wentworth was stopped and Friday’s play will not happen either.
A spokesperson for the European Tour said: ‘Out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family, play has been suspended at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club for the remainder of Thursday and flags at Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-mast.
‘Furthermore, no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed. Further updates on the resumption of play will be provided in due course.’
Wellwishers lay flowers for Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth ll at the gates of Buckingham Palace the morning after her death
The Queen had a great love of horses and the racing community has postponed its races
Cycling also acted swiftly with Friday’s Tour of Britain stage cancelled.
The rest of the tour was also called off entirely and will now no longer finished on the Isle of Wight.
Theatres have opted to continue with their planned performances but are expected to mark the nation’s grief.
The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre said: ‘Many theatres across the country will be dimming their lights tonight and observing a minute’s silence, playing the national anthem, and opening books of condolences prior to the performance as a mark of their respect.’
Guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said performances would continue during the period of mourning.