Cancelling football isn’t ‘respectful’ to the Queen – it just deprives her subjects

Cancelling football isn’t ‘respectful’ to the Queen – it just deprives her subjects
West Ham players walk out onto the pitch wearing black arm bands after it was announced that Queen Elizabeth had died (Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) Did you go to work on Friday? If so, there’s a good chance your deadlines probably weren’t pushed back, and the pressure on you to meet them was no less intense. People deserve not only a release valve, but a collective way to mark the occasion and show respect. For some, that might involve activities such as opera or theatre, but for many in Britain it’s football.
Not this weekend, though.   On Friday morning, the English Football Association released a statement reading: ‘As a mark of respect, following the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, English football has united to postpone all football fixtures between 9-11 September. ’ This was followed minutes later by a statement from the Scottish Football Association, which confirmed that professional football north of the border would be cancelled too.
They insisted ‘it is appropriate that professional football marks this event with all possible solemnity. ’  It felt like authorities were saying: ‘by all means, continue to make other people money by showing up to work, but don’t be so disrespectful as to think you can enjoy your recreation time. ’ Meanwhile, other sports like cricket and rugby are going ahead.
Danny Denholm, who plays for East Fife, neatly summed up the absurdity of deciding what activities do and do not constitute respectful, tweeting: ‘Game is off so we can mourn. I will do this by training and kicking a football instead of playing a game and kicking a football. ’ {"@context":"https:\/\/schema.
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uk\/video\/met\/2022\/09\/09\/2224767604907133204\/480x270_MP4_2224767604907133204. mp4","height":270,"width":480} To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Messages with a photo of Queen Elizabeth II seen on top of the flower tributes at the designated area in Green Park (Picture: Hesther Ng/SOPA Images/Shutterstock) The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport left the decision up to individual sporting associations. It wasn’t requested by the Royal Family.
  Queen Elizabeth II dead: Latest updates Queen Elizabeth dead at the age of 96 after 70-year rule of UK What happens next following the death of the Queen? Charles III: The boy who waited 70 years to be King RIP Ma'am: Your heartfelt messages to her Majesty The Queen King Charles III addresses the nation for the first time Follow Metro. co. uk's live blog for the latest updates, and sign Metro.
co. uk's book of condolence to Her Majesty here. At a time of sorrow, I’d be surprised if they were overly concerned by reports that Falkirk had kicked off against Alloa.
Some speculated that a lack of police might be a motivation for the decision, but it was made clear the postponements were down to ‘respect. ’ Even if policing was a significant issue, it’s hard to see how a lack of available officers would impact grassroots football, which is regularly played before double-digit crowds.   There are also reports that fans couldn’t be trusted not to boo, but whatever protest might have been made by a minority this weekend has merely been shunted down the line to whenever the fixtures are eventually completed.
  These games have been postponed at short notice, leaving many fans who paid for tickets, travel and accommodation out of pocket.   Also impacted will be matchday vendors who relied upon the weekend’s fixtures for income, local pubs, and even foodbanks, who were set to receive donations from supporters outside grounds. As a mark of respect to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, English football has united to postpone all football fixtures this weekend.
pic. twitter. com/k6bqNu6arf— The FA (@FA) September 9, 2022 NEWS | The Scottish FA, SPFL, SWPL and Highland & Lowland Leagues have agreed that all professional football matches will be postponed this weekend as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
https://t. co/zJjhZoVC9m— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) September 9, 2022 Man City Fans Foodbank Support said they were ‘beyond gutted that the two collections we had planned for this weekend aren’t able to go ahead,’ They also noted that their collections have become the biggest donations that Manchester Central Foodbank receives, warning of a ‘tragedy’ if the collections didn’t go ahead.   There’s an assumption that the two camps debating whether or not football should go ahead can be easily split into ‘monarchist’ and ‘republican’, but lots of those disappointed to not be seeing their team this weekend will also be affected by the Queen’s passing.
  It’s entirely possible to be grieving that loss while looking forward to the football for some escapism and the togetherness that watching a match brings. A statement on our planned collections for this weekend, following the decision by the @premierleague, @BarclaysWSL, and all footballing authorities: pic. twitter.
com/IeeR8fmrFd— MCFC Fans Foodbank Support (@MCFCfoodbank) September 9, 2022 Had the Queen not passed this week, that outlet would still have been vital for millions of people enduring a cost-of-living crisis. To outsiders looking in, this might seem like a lot of fuss over some people not getting to kick a ball for a few days, but football is far more than just what happens on the pitch.   The supporters’ bus before the game, that post-match debrief in the pub – these are traditions that cement friendships, bond families and offer an important sense of community and familiarity, the loss of which was painful when supporters were shut out during lockdown.
Umpires wearing black armbands at the Kia Oval on September 10 (Credits: PA) An LED board inside the Oval displays a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (Picture: Gareth Copley – ECB/ECB via Getty Images) Being disappointed by this weekend’s fixture postponements doesn’t mean you’re against showing respect to the Queen. In fact, as the nation’s most popular sport, football actually has a significant platform from which to pay tribute.   This weekend could have seen minute’s silences, black armbands and collections outside grounds for the Queen’s favourite charities.
Cricketers observed a two-minute silence at the Oval on Saturday, before singing God Save The King’. Football fans who wished to pay similar tribute could have been given that opportunity before watching a match. A BBC News montage of footballers and fans across the country soberly bowing their heads would have made for a far more powerful show of respect than the thought of Erling Haaland and Harry Kane thumb-twiddling in their living rooms.
  Those frustrated by short-notice postponements deserve more than generic platitudes about respect from football’s governing bodies. There should be an honest explanation as to what makes football different from the other sports that haven’t shut up shop. If they’re really so concerned about respect, they could start with showing some more towards football fans.
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uk. Share your views in the comments below. MORE : Gary Lineker hits out at football’s ‘missed opportunity’ after watching emotional England vs South Africa scenes MORE : Piers Morgan slams Met Office for ‘virtue signalling’ amid cancelled football matches and BBC Proms after Queen’s death MORE : Queen leaves Balmoral for the final time as coffin starts journey to Edinburgh.