Football fixtures at all levels across the UK have been postponed as a mark of respect to Her Majesty The Queen. But other sporting events, including the England men's cricket Test against South Africa, will go ahead as planned this weekend. Elizabeth II's death at the age of 96 was announced by Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening.
Within hours of the announcement, the England and Wales Cricket Board quickly confirmed day two of the deciding Test at the Oval would not take place, but said that play would resume on Saturday following Government guidance. The official mourning guidance, published by the Government on Friday morning, stated there was no obligation on sports organisations to cancel or postpone events. So, events like the mass participation Great North Run will go ahead on Sunday, as will Premiership rugby, Super League rugby league and the BMW PGA Championship golf tournament.
But the UK's football authorities decided to postpone all fixtures planned for this weekend, and there is a possibility no further Premier League matches will now be played this month. A host of English teams are due to be in European action on home soil in midweek, but those matches are expected to go ahead as scheduled. In addition, the women's middleweight world title fight between Savannah Marshall and Claressa Shields, scheduled for the O2 Arena in London on Saturday, is off after the British Boxing Board of Control cancelled all the weekend's bouts as a mark of respect.
A decision on next weekend's Premier League games will be made in due course but some or even all of them could yet be affected by policing requirements in London and elsewhere related to the State Funeral. No date has been fixed for that occasion yet. Matches in the EFL and the Women's Super League this weekend have been called off, along with all matches at all levels in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Football Association chair Debbie Hewitt, who was involved in Friday's meetings with Government, said: "This is a great example of football working in unity. We (the football authorities) all absolutely 100 per cent agree this was the right thing to do to pay our respects. " However, many other sporting occasions will go ahead and offer spectators and participants to pay their respects at venues.
The Football Supporters' Association issued a statement saying there was no perfect decision, but added many supporters would see this was "an opportunity missed" for them to pay their respects at matches this weekend. Cricket at international, domestic and recreational level will resume from Saturday, the ECB said. "Before each match, a minute's silence will be observed followed by the national anthem," the governing body said.
"All players and coaches will wear black armbands. Branded inventory will be replaced with messaging paying cricket's respects to the Queen. " As tributes continued to pour in for Britain's longest-serving monarch, England's men and women's national soccer coaches offered their own messages.
Gareth Southgate said the Queen "showed the world what it is to be British", while Sarina Wiegman hailed an inspiration through "unrelenting work ethic, leadership, dignity and kindness". England's men will pay tribute to the Queen when hosting Germany on September 26. The first day's play at the PGA Championship golf at Wentworth was cut short on Thursday when news of the Queen's death was announced and Friday's play was cancelled, but organisers confirmed the tournament would resume on Saturday as a 54-hole event.