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Premier League Postpones Weekend Fixtures Following Queen Elizabeth II’s Death

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The Premier League just announced that this weekend’s fixtures will be suspended, as sporting events across Britain have been called off following Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday.

All 10 fixtures for the upcoming gameweek that was scheduled to begin Saturday afternoon with the London derby between Chelsea and Fulham and conclude with the Monday night match between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest will be rescheduled.

“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,” Richard Masters, the league’s chief executive, said in a statement on Friday.

The United Kingdom has entered 10 days of national mourning, which will culminate with the Queen’s funeral.

Read More: ‘We Will Never Have Another Quite Like Her.’ How the U.K. Is Mourning Queen Elizabeth II’s Death

There is no obligation to cancel or postpone sporting events, according to Buckingham Palace’s National Mourning Guidance. But several sports organizations appear to have taken it upon themselves to suspend competitions following the death of the Queen on Thursday at the age of 96.

The English Football League, which oversees the country’s lower soccer divisions and had already postponed two matches scheduled for Friday “as a mark of respect,” will also reschedule its remaining Saturday and Sunday fixtures. And the governing body for soccer in Northern Ireland announced that all of this weekend’s matches would be postponed.

In cycling, the Tour of Britain organizers canceled the sixth stage of the race, due to take place on Friday.


The second day of the third and deciding cricket test between England and South Africa on Friday was suspended as a mark of respect, according to Reuters.

The British Horseracing Authority also suspended all events for two days.

The BMW PGA Championship in Surrey, England, meanwhile announced suspended play on Thursday and Friday.

Three Premier League teams played in European competitions on Thursday, with fans observing a moment of silence at half time in Switzerland during the Europa League match between Arsenal and FC Zurich that had already kicked off before the news of the Queen’s passing.

Read More: The Surprising Ways Queen Elizabeth Has Become a Cultural Icon

Later in the evening in England, Manchester United’s players wore black armbands in their Europa League match against Real Sociedad, while fans of West Ham United sung “God Save the Queen” in tribute before a match against Romanian club FCSB in the Europa Conference League.

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Soccer, referred to as football in the U.K., is the country’s most popular sport. And the Premier League, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is the most popular soccer league in the world, broadcast to 800 million homes in 188 countries.

The Premier League, which has 35 million followers on Twitter, posted a message to its account following the Queen’s death. “The Premier League is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and condolences are with The Royal Family and everyone around the world mourning the loss of Her Majesty,” the statement read.

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Write to Amy Gunia at amy.gunia@time.com