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Premier League matches postponed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, other sports to go ahead

Shambolic decision-making from the football powers that be

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FC Zürich v Arsenal FC: Group A - UEFA Europa League Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

When King George VI died in 1952, the old First Division kept on playing football uninterrupted, marking the royal passing with tributes and song, but otherwise keeping calm and carrying on. Or in Chelsea’s case, keeping calm and losing badly, 4-1 to Sunderland, three days after the monarch’s death.

Seventy years later, we evidently cannot handle that sort of measured response in this modern world of ours, and instead have decided to postpone an entire round of fixtures in the Premier League and the Football League. Further postponements or rescheduling could follow next weekend as well, with the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II likely set for Sunday.

League authorities were left scrambling yesterday, evidently without any clear protocol or plans in place for this inevitable event, but eventually came up with a response after the UK Government left it up to the individual leagues to decide whether to play or not to play.

And that response is to not play. Tellingly, there is no plan yet for what to do with the postponed matches. When they might be squeezed in is anyone’s guess. Just making things up as we go along, as usual.

It remains unclear how this will affect our midweek Champions League match against Salzburg, which is supposed to take place at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday (and is under the purview of UEFA, not the Premier League). Presumably it will go ahead, just as the European games yesterday did. The midweek games in the lower leagues are also expected to go ahead.

It should be noted that policing concerns were not among the main reasons cited for football’s cancelation. It should also be noted that other sports, including rugby and cricket, will go ahead as scheduled this weekend.

On the plus side, this gives Graham Potter a few extra days to get settled in and conduct a pseudo-preseason, even. His introductory press conference, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed as well.

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