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Premier League clubs expect this weekend’s fixtures to be postponed

Premier League clubs expect this weekend’s games to be called off following the death of Queen Elizabeth II as officials remain locked in talks with Government… with Friday’s EFL matches postponed

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96 
  • Premier League clubs expect this weekend’s round of fixtures to be postponed 
  • There is a full round of fixtures scheduled, running from Saturday to Monday
  • The sporting schedule is set to be heavily affected after the death of the Queen 
  • Manchester United’s Europa League tie on Thursday night still went ahead
  • Arsenal held a minute’s silence after half time of their European match in Zurich
  • Golfing action at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth is now suspended
  • There will also be no cricket action between England and South Africa on Friday 
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

Premier League officials were locked in talks with the government on Thursday night to discuss whether this weekend’s football can go ahead with the nation in mourning following the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

Sportsmail understands top flight clubs are expecting this weekend’s fixtures to be postponed with an announcement expected early on Friday morning.

All of Friday’s sporting programme was called off on Thursday night as a mark of respect, including day two of England’s Test match against South Africa, the BMW PGA golf Championship at Wentworth and all racing, the Queen’s favourite sport.

Friday’s EFL fixtures — Burnley v Norwich in the Championship and Tranmere v Stockport in League Two — have also been postponed.

The rest of the football pyramid is likely to follow the lead set by the Premier League. 

A cancellation of the entire programme would create fixture congestion later in the season as there are no free midweeks between now and the mid-winter break for the World Cup, which begins in Qatar just seven days after the Premier League pauses.

The Champions League looks set to continue next week whatever happens this weekend, as Manchester United’s Europa League tie against Real Sociedad went ahead on Thursday night following guidance from UEFA. 

There are no fixtures scheduled for the date of the funeral on September 19 as that is the start of the international break.

Her Majesty the Queen – Britain’s longest-reigning monarch – has died peacefully at Balmoral aged 96. Her son Charles, is now king.

Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96, with the British sporting schedule set to halt

Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96, with the British sporting schedule set to halt

Premier League clubs believe this weekend's games are 'almost certain' to be postponed

Premier League clubs believe this weekend’s games are ‘almost certain’ to be postponed 

The Premiership rugby season is due to begin on Friday night with games between Bristol and Bath and Sale and Northampton, with a decision on those fixtures expected on Friday morning. 

Northampton v Saracens in the Premiership Rugby Cup was postponed on Thursday night, an announcement which was followed by the Premiership chief executives holding talks with the RFU over how to proceed. 

‘On behalf of the rugby union community in England, all at the Rugby Football Union are very saddened to hear of the death of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and offer our condolences to the whole Royal Family at this time,’ the RFU said.

The second day of England’s final Test match of the summer against South Africa was called off following a first day washout at The Oval, although the ECB did not confirm any plans for the remainder of the game. 

There is due to be a full round of fixtures in the top flight from Saturday to Monday evening

There is due to be a full round of fixtures in the top flight from Saturday to Monday evening

A four-day Test could theoretically begin on Saturday given the exceptional circumstances, with a final decision resting on the outcome of further talks with government and a more sober assessment of the evolving public mood.

‘Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 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,’ an ECB statement read. ‘For fixtures beyond Friday, updates will be provided in due course.’

All of Friday’s racing, including day three of the Doncaster St Leger meeting, was cancelled. 

Thursday night’s meetings at Chelmsford and Southwell were also abandoned on the announcement of the Queen’s death.

Manchester United's Europa League tie against Real Sociedad went ahead as planned on Thursday night but there was a minute's silence before kick-off

Manchester United’s Europa League tie against Real Sociedad went ahead as planned on Thursday night but there was a minute’s silence before kick-off

Play was also suspended until further notice at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth

Play was also suspended until further notice at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth

A decision on whether racing will resume on Saturday when the feature race is the St Leger, the final Classic of the Flat season, at Doncaster will be made on Friday. 

The authorities are also set to discuss the racing programme during the period of national mourning leading up to The Queen’s funeral.

Poignantly, the Queen’s colours just missed out on being carried to victory on Thursday, when her Michael Bell-trained filly Improvise was beaten a short-head in the final race at Epsom.

WHICH SPORTING EVENTS HAVE BEEN AFFECTED FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF THE QUEEN? 

Football

Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Real Sociedad at Old Trafford and West Ham’s game against FCSB in the Europa Conference League at the London Stadium went ahead on Thursday evening with pre-match tributes.

The Northern Ireland Football League announced that Friday night’s matches between Cliftonville and Glentoran and Larne and Dungannon have been postponed.

The English Football League also confirmed that Friday night’s Championship game between Burnley and Norwich and the League Two match between Tranmere and Stockport had been postponed, with a decision on Saturday’s fixtures yet to be made.

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.

The Scottish Rugby Union has postponed all domestic competitive games this weekend as a mark of respect and the women’s summer Test international between Scotland and Spain on Sunday is also off.

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 has been cancelled with a decision on the rest of the tour to be made.

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