Football isolated after cancelling weekend games while other sports resume (2022)

Football was isolated in cancelling the entire weekend’s fixtures on Friday night as other major sports resumed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Test cricket, golf at Wentworth and Premiership rugby all play on Saturday after getting the Government green light to return.

But, during cross-sport talks, Mark Bullingham, the Football Association’s chief executive, outlined a firm position to call off the national game following the death of its long-standing patron and grandmother of its current president, the new Prince of Wales.

After much deliberation over the past 24 hours, the Premier League and Football League agreed on a complete shutdown that includes the grass-roots game.

The decision prompted some dismay, with the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) and grass-roots organisations lamenting an “opportunity missed” to let fans and players pay immediate tribute to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

With other sports also divided in adopting what they saw as appropriate responses to the national period of mourning, it was also decided that:

  • England’s series-deciding third Test against South Africa will begin on Saturday, but will take place over three days after the tourists refused to play on until Tuesday.
  • The Oval crowd will be the first to sing ‘God Save the King’ at a major sporting event, with fancy dress banned and limits on alcohol consumption to ensure spectators act appropriately.
  • Friday night’s rugby fixtures at Bristol Bears and Sale Sharks would be postponed with just hours to spare, leaving clubs furious
  • The Great North Run takes place as planned, the PGA BMW Championship resumes as a 54-hole competition, while racing returns on Sunday.
  • Cycling’s Tour of Britain is off and the women’s world middleweight title fight between Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields is also postponed.

Millions of football fans and amateur players will stay at home on Saturday while cricket and rugby, including the recreational games, go ahead.

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As sports met to discuss their positions on Friday morning, England captain Ben Stokes posted online he would “be honoured to play” in the late Queen’s memory at an Oval ground owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, inherited on Thursday by Prince William from his father, the King.

Premiership Rugby then confirmed all games on Saturday and Sunday would be played as planned. Bristol and Bath, scheduled to play on Friday night are now due to meet at 5.30pm, while Sale and Northampton goes ahead on Sunday at 3pm. In rugby league, Saturday’s Super League play-off between Huddersfield and Salford is also set to go ahead.

Official advice from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport left postponement decisions at the discretion of sporting bodies, with “no obligation” to make changes, but football eventually decided the best course of action was a full cancellation.

FA chair Debbie Hewitt said: “This is a great example of football working in unity. We all absolutely 100 per cent agree this was the right thing to do to pay our respects.”

Football faces criticism for 'missed opportunity'

The decision put pressure on an already tight schedule, with the first winter World Cup having necessitated a compressed early part of the season. Fixtures from Tuesday are now all but certain to return although there is major concern about the logistics of staging them next Sunday on the eve of the Queen’s funeral.

Gary Neville and Peter Crouch were among former players critical of this weekend’s cancellation, but the FSA recognised the game had faced a tough decision. “Not everyone will agree, so there was no perfect decision for the football authorities, but many supporters will feel this was an opportunity missed for football to pay its own special tributes,” it said.

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There will be no racing on Saturday but the season’s last Classic, the Cazoo St Leger due to take place at Doncaster, will be the centrepiece of a nine-race card at the Yorkshire course on Sunday.

To mark what the British Horseracing Authority described as the “special bond” between the sport and the late Queen, all meetings were cancelled on Friday and the card at Doncaster, Chester, Lingfield, Chelmsford, Musselburgh and Ffos Las will not go ahead on Saturday.

Under the new official guidance from Government, sports were told “there is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the national mourning period”.

A full sporting wipeout is suggested for the day of the funeral, however. “As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the state funeral,” the guidance added. “They are under no obligation to do so and this is entirely at the discretion of 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 service and associated processions.”

Fixtures taking place in the intervening period were advised to pay appropriate respects, however. The Premier League’s postponement included Monday evening’s game. The top tier’s chief executive, Richard Masters said: “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.”

In tennis, next week’s Davis Cup Finals tennis tournament in Glasgow will go ahead, the Lawn Tennis Association confirmed.

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Racing off until Sunday; boxing cancelled

There will be no racing on Saturday but the season’s last Classic, the Cazoo St Leger which was due to take place at Doncaster, will be centrepiece of a nine-race card at the Yorkshire course on Sunday.

To mark what the British Horseracing Authority described as the "special bond" between the sport and the Queen, all meetings were cancelled for Friday and the card at Doncaster, Chester, Lingfield, Chelmsford, Musselburgh and Ffos Las will not go ahead on Saturday.

Sunday’s scheduled meeting at Chepstow will take place along with a bumper card at Doncaster which will also include the Doncaster Cup but the meeting at Musselburgh has been called off because the Queen’s body will be resting in state in Edinburgh.

All racecourses racing from Sunday and over the mourning period will continue to mark the Queen’s passing with tributes on-course. Flags will fly at half mast, jockeys will wear black armbands and a period of silence will be observed before the first race at each meeting.

In boxing, all fights scheduled for Friday are off and that Saturday's middleweight world title fight between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall has also been postponed.

Guidance on how to mourn

Under the new official guidance from Government, sports have been told "there is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the national mourning period".

A full sporting wipeout is suggested for the day of the funeral, however.

"As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the state funeral," the guidance adds. "They are under no obligation to do so and this is entirely at the discretion of 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 service and associated processions."

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Fixtures that do take place in the intervening period are advised to pay appropriate respects, however.

"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," the guidance adds.

Golfers called off mid-round

In cricket, the Duchy of Cornwall is the landlord of the Kia Oval, and the England and Wales Cricket Board immediately convened a board meeting on Thursday to delay England's third Test.

A four-day Test now looks likely to begin on Saturday, with England due to fly to Pakistan on Wednesday for the Twenty20 series starting in Karachi.

Golf's European Tour Group, meanwhile, immediately stopped play at the BMW PGA Championship and later cancelled Friday's action.

Despite the cancellations this weekend, some English football sides were involved in European fixtures on Thursday night. Manchester United said they had been directed by both the FA and Uefa to press ahead with their Europa League fixture against Real Sociedad. Arsenal were playing at FC Zurich when the Queen's death was announced. A minute’s silence took place immediately before the start of the second half.

Sport overseas is certain to go ahead as planned. Sources within Formula 1 say there is no expectation that the Monza Grand Prix will be delayed. However, there will be commemorations and an inevitably sombre mood.

FAQs

Why is there no Premier League football this weekend? ›

Football was put on hold across the country last weekend in tribute to the sad death of Her Majesty at the age of 96.

Why are so many Premier League games postponed? ›

Which Premier League games are postponed and when will they be played? The Premier League postponed all games that were due to be played from Saturday through Monday as a mark of respect after the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96.

Is the Premier League Cancelled? ›

Why is the Premier League on a break? ›

However, the Premier League will halt in the middle of the season to accommodate a winter World Cup for the first time. As a result, match-round 16 will be the final one played - over the weekend of November 12/13 - before players called up by their countries for the tournament travel to Qatar.

Who owns the Premier League? ›

The Premier League is a private company wholly owned by its 20 Member Clubs who make up the League at any one time. Each individual club is independent, working within the rules of football, as defined by the Premier League, The FA, UEFA and FIFA, as well as being subject to English and European law.

Why have three Premier League games been postponed? ›

Premier League fixtures will resume this weekend after a pause to the season as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Seven of the 10 Premier League fixtures this weekend will be played, with three matches postponed due to events surrounding The Queen's funeral.

Why is Chelsea game postponed? ›

Trip to Brighton on 8 February and home match with Arsenal four days later to be rescheduled. Two of Chelsea's Premier League fixtures in February 2022 have been postponed due to the club's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Why is Chelsea Liverpool postponed? ›

Liverpool Postponed Due to Queen's Funeral.

Why was the Arsenal match Cancelled? ›

Arsenal's Europa League group game against PSV Eindhoven at the Emirates on Thursday has been postponed. UEFA confirmed that the game is to be rearranged due to a lack of available police in London while the UK mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Who has won the most trophies Man Utd or Liverpool? ›

Man United: Tale of the tape. In total, United's 66 trophies mean they have won one more than Liverpool. United lead the way in terms of league titles and FA Cups, but Liverpool have been more successful in terms of the Champions League and the League Cup.

Why are Arsenal games postponed? ›

Even though the industrial action has now been called off, the game remains postponed for policing reasons. Finding available slots in the calendar for all these matches is especially challenging this season because of the staging of the World Cup in Qatar in November and December.

Who got promoted to the Premier League 2022 23? ›

Teams. Twenty teams are competing in the league – the top seventeen teams from the previous season and the three teams promoted from the Championship. The promoted teams are Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest, who return after an absence of one, two and twenty-three years from the top flight respectively.

How long is the football break? ›

In Summary. A standard football match is 90 minutes made up of two 45-minute halves. In the middle of the game, there is a 15-minute break known as 'half-time'.

Why does the Premier League not have a winter break? ›

The Premier League has no plans to use the winter break as a time for clubs to catch up with postponed matches. A total of 22 top-flight games have been called off so far, largely because of a lack of available players due to the spike in Covid cases.

Who is the richest club in the world? ›

According to the Deloitte rankings, FC Barcelona was named the world's richest football club in 2021. However, a new club has now usurped the Catalan club on the rankings in 2022 after generating revenue of €644.9 million (£537 million/$709 million).

Is Newcastle now the richest club? ›

Newcastle United are today considered the richest club in world football, a label that's an extension of the deep pockets of the club's ownership group which on paper has the capacity to outspend other teams.

Who invented football? ›

The man most responsible for the transition from this rugby-like game to the sport of football we know today was Walter Camp, known as the “Father of American Football.” As a Yale undergraduate and medical student from 1876 to 1881, Camp played halfback and served as team captain, equivalent to head coach at the time.

Why is Manchester United postponed? ›

Manchester United's Premier League 2 match with Leicester City at Leigh Sports Village, scheduled for Friday night, has been postponed. All of Friday's games in the division have been called off following the sad news of Her Majesty The Queen's death on Thursday.

Is Chelsea vs Liverpool postponed? ›

The Blues were set to welcome Jurgen Klopp's Reds to London on Sunday afternoon but that game will now not take place. Seven Premier League fixtures will resume this weekend, after a pause to the season as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Who is Liverpool's rival? ›

Despite this, Liverpool versus Manchester United is widely thought to be one of the biggest and most famous rivalries in football history.

Who is Liverpool's biggest rival? ›

Liverpool's tension with Manchester United (titled the 'Northwest Derby

Northwest Derby
The Liverpool F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry is a high-profile inter-city rivalry between English professional football clubs Liverpool and Manchester United. It is considered the biggest fixture in English football and one of the biggest and fiercest rivalries in world football.
') is perhaps the club's most historic rivalry. Typically, matches between Liverpool and Man United are one of the most prestigious on the calendar.

Who is bigger Liverpool or Manchester United? ›

United have an average attendance of 55,350 over the last 50 years, significantly larger than Liverpool's 41,403. However, if we calculate average attendance as a percentage of stadium capacity then it is Liverpool who edge out their rivals, with an average of 76.6% to United's 73.2%.

What Premier League teams are playing today? ›

  • Crystal Palace 06:00 Leeds. Quick View.
  • West Ham 06:00 Fulham. Quick View.
  • Arsenal 08:30 Liverpool. Quick View.
  • Everton 11:00 Man Utd. Quick View.

Why is Arsenal v Man City postponed? ›

"The Premier League has agreed with UEFA to postpone Arsenal's Premier League match with Manchester City, originally due to be played on 19 October, to allow for Arsenal's re-arranged UEFA Europa League match with PSV Eindhoven".

Why is there no Premier League games on the 29th January? ›

Premier League clubs will enjoy a rare weekend off this week with no matches scheduled for the weekend of Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30. This is part of the pre-arranged winter break to allow clubs a chance to have some time off before embarking on the rest of the campaign.

Why is football not on 26th March? ›

Following on from a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Non-League Day is back (Saturday 26th March) for the current international break.

Why are Premier League games not on TV? ›

Why Are So Many Premier League Games Not Televised? Each season, 180 Premier League games are not televised, essentially because these kick off at the traditional time of 3pm on a Saturday and it is illegal to show games live at this time in the UK.

Is there a Premier League winter break? ›

The Premier League has no plans to use the winter break as a time for clubs to catch up with postponed matches. A total of 22 top-flight games have been called off so far, largely because of a lack of available players due to the spike in Covid cases.

Why has Chelsea v Arsenal been postponed? ›

Trip to Brighton on 8 February and home match with Arsenal four days later to be rescheduled. Two of Chelsea's Premier League fixtures in February 2022 have been postponed due to the club's participation in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Why no match of the day 29 01 22? ›

This is why there will be no Premier League games on January 29, 2022. The reason or rather reasons are twofold: first, because the FA was forced to abolish the break last year due to the reduced fixture list caused by Covid-19, but has opted to reintroduce it this season.

Why are there no Premier League games on 29 01 22? ›

There is no Premier League football this weekend due to the start of the winter break, which was first introduced in the 2019-20 season.

Is there an international break in March 2022? ›

The international break will start on March 20 and end on March 28, 2023.
...
When are the 2022-23 season international breaks?
Window beginsWindow ends
November 20, 2022December 18, 2022
March 20, 2023March 28, 2023
3 more rows
17 Aug 2022

Why is there a Break from football? ›

Why is there an international break in January? FIFA have created this one-off international break during the next fortnight to allow non-UEFA national sides to catch up on World Cup qualifiers that were originally postponed in September 2020 for Covid reasons.

What football is on 26 March 2022? ›

Results & Matches on: Sat, 26 Mar 2022
International Friendly
Sa 26Mar 2022ShrewsburyLincoln
Sa 26Mar 2022Sheff WedCheltenham
Sa 26Mar 2022DoncasterCharlton
Sa 26Mar 2022AccringtonGillingham
249 more rows
26 Mar 2022

Is it illegal to show 3pm football? ›

The rule, which was brought into force back in the 1960s, prohibits live football from being shown on TV between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday.

Why is 3pm blackout in football? ›

UK broadcasters will not be subject to football's usual 3pm blackout today after football matches in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were postponed as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Why are some football games not televised? ›

The blackout rule was introduced during the 1960s when Football League chairmen believed televised matches had a negative impact on attendances at matches being played at the same time.

Who got promoted to the Premier League 2022 23? ›

Teams. Twenty teams are competing in the league – the top seventeen teams from the previous season and the three teams promoted from the Championship. The promoted teams are Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest, who return after an absence of one, two and twenty-three years from the top flight respectively.

How long is the football break? ›

In Summary. A standard football match is 90 minutes made up of two 45-minute halves. In the middle of the game, there is a 15-minute break known as 'half-time'.

How much money does the Premier League make? ›

Premier League club revenues increase as gap widens with rest of Europe's top divisions. Premier League clubs recorded revenue growth of eight per cent for the 2020-21 season, increasing from £4.5billion ($5.4b) to £4.9billion ($5.9bn).

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