The Premier League has suspended weekend matches following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

The Premier League has suspended weekend matches following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

LONDON (AP) — The Premier League has postponed its next round of matches as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, adding to the cancellation of high-profile golf, cricket and horse racing events across Britain on Friday.

England’s top flight football clubs held a meeting on Friday and said they wanted to “pay tribute to her greatness and unforgettable service to our country.”

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “This is a very sad time not only for the nation but for the millions of people around the world who admired her,” and we join everyone in mourning her passing.

The English Football League – three divisions below the Premier League – has also canceled its matches scheduled for the weekend.

The UK government said it was at the discretion of individual sporting organizations whether fixtures could go ahead following the Queen’s death at the age of 96 on Thursday.

British sport is essentially shut down on Friday, but could continue until Saturday.

The BMW PGA Championship, a major event on the European Tour, was halted near the end of the first round after Queen’s death was announced on Thursday – with 30 players still on the course – and no play on Friday. don’t have

“We are looking forward to resuming by the end of the week,” the tour said in a statement on Friday. He added that it would review “protocol guidance from Buckingham Palace” while harmonizing with decisions made by other sporting events in the UK.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has already announced that the third and deciding Test between England and South Africa at The Oval on Friday will not be played. There was no immediate update on whether play would resume over the weekend.

Other events that were canceled included the Tour of England, which also canceled the final two stages of the race scheduled for the weekend, and the third day of the St Leger Festival of Horse Races in Doncaster. The St Leger, one of Britain’s racing classics, will now be held on Sundays, organizers said on Friday.

Horse racing was the queen’s favorite sport.

Football matches in the English Football League – three leagues below the Premier League – and the Scottish lower leagues scheduled for Friday have already been postponed, while games scheduled to be played in Northern Ireland at the weekend have been postponed. Also canceled.

The Premier League said further updates on its fixtures during the mourning period, which began in England, would be provided “in due course”.

Organizations must weigh factors such as whether conducting matches will use police resources, the wishes of broadcasters and the mood of the public.

There is little room in this impressive World Cup season schedule to fit in postponed fixtures.

The government said sports organizations “may consider canceling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the state funeral.”

A state funeral date has not been set.

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