British sports paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II after her death on Thursday with football’s governing bodies in discussion with the government as to the status of events for this weekend and beyond. Buckingham Palace announced earlier on Thursday that the Queen, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, had passed away peacefully at the age of 96. The country, as well as the other 14 nations of which Elizabeth was sovereign, will now enter a period of mourning.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will meet with sporting bodies on Friday morning to offer guidance on the status of this weekend’s events, which include a full schedule for English and Scottish football.
Football Matches Across England this postpones fixtures after Queen Elizabeth’s death:
On Thursday, Europa League and Conference League matches involving British sides went ahead following consultation with competition governing body UEFA and the English Football Association (FA), given that news broke only an hour and a half before the later matches kicked off. Safety considerations were paramount in making the decision that the games should go ahead. Arsenal’s match away to FC Zurich had kicked off before confirmation of the Queen’s passing; prior to the game’s resumption for the second half, both sides undertook a minute of silence to pay tribute. Arsenal players wore black armbands.
Manchester United and West Ham United also observed a period of silence with players from the English clubs and their opponents wearing black armbands. Supporters at London Stadium chanted “God save the Queen.”
A statement from the club said: “Manchester United shares the sorrow of the entire nation following the announcement from Buckingham Palace on the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen. The club recognizes her immense contribution to public life, including sport, both here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world. Everyone connected with Manchester United joins the wider football family in sending our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to The Royal Family.”
Government guidance for the death last year of the Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, left it up to individual sporting bodies to decide whether to postpone fixtures. When the previous monarch George VI died in 1952 football matches went ahead with hymn “Abide With Me” sung before kickoff.
Those include the PGA Championship event at Wentworth and the second day of the cricket Test match between England and South Africa at The Oval, London. Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali said: “Formula One mourns the passing of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II. For more than seven decades she dedicated her life to public service with dignity and devotion and inspired so many around the world.