British sport to return following death of Queen Elizabeth II

By Robert Fletcher

Sporting events across Britain will return to normal schedules this week following a series of cancellations over the weekend after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

England’s Premier League and the English Football League (EFL) postponed all matches over the weekend of 10-11 September, while all games today (12 September) were also called off as a mark of respect for the queen, who died on 8 September.

A host of other sporting events due to take place over the weekend were also postponed including all horse racing on 11 September, while the Cycling Tour of Britain cancelled its final three stages in Gloucestershire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

In addition, play in the cricket test match between England and South Africa at The Oval in London was called off on 9 September, while the second day of golf’s PGA Championship at Wentworth near London did not take place.

While Great Britain is still in a period of national mourning, a number of event organisers have confirmed fixtures will return to normal this week, ahead of the queen’s funeral on 19 September.

The latest round of matches across the EFL – the three leagues immediately below the Premier League – will take place as planned tomorrow (13 September).

“The EFL fixture programme will return as scheduled from Tuesday 13 September, with tributes to be paid to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at grounds around the country,” the EFL said.

“A minute’s silence will be held before matches, with black armbands to be worn by participants, flags to be flown at half-mast and the national anthem to be played in stadiums.

“With a national policing plan now in operation, the league and clubs will continue to work with forces in respect of any challenges that may emerge regarding policing of specific fixtures.”

The Scottish Football Association also said it is its intention for the professional game to resume as normal this week.

“Fixtures will go ahead, subject to Police Scotland resourcing, with the caveat that any fixtures under the professional banner be rescheduled if they fall on Monday September 19, the day of her majesty’s funeral,” the Scottish FA said.

“This week, as a mark of respect and in keeping with the period of national mourning, home clubs may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the national anthem just ahead of kick-off, and players may wish to wear black armbands.”

Football will also return in Wales and Northern Ireland, though the English Premier League is yet to announce whether its planned fixtures will take place this coming weekend.

British racing has also returned to normal, though the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said no meetings will take place on the day of the actual funeral.

“This will give everyone involved in British racing the opportunity to mourn her late majesty’s passing and offer thanks for her contribution to our sport and the nation,” the BHA said.

“The fixtures on Monday 19 will therefore be cancelled. Further information will be shared with participants, racecourses and racegoers in the coming days.

“Racing will take place as scheduled throughout the remainder of the intervening period.”

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