British football has squandered an opportunity to pay tribute to the Queen by postponing all matches this weekend, according to the Football Supporters’ Association.
Whereas sports including cricket, golf, rugby league and rugby union are going ahead, there will be no football in England this weekend, with all matches from the Premier League to grassroots level postponed after the death of Elizabeth II on Thursday. Schools’ football has also been suspended in England from Friday until Sunday with the English Schools’ Football Association advising its members not to play.
Professional games in Scotland have also been postponed but grassroots football will be played as normal. All matches in Wales and Northern Ireland have been called off.
The FSA, which represents fans in England and Wales, encouraged football authorities to proceed with matches so that fans could pay respect to the Queen, as they did at West Ham and Manchester United on Thursday in European competition fixtures. But the request was rejected, leaving children without a game, bringing further congestion to a condensed fixture schedule and costing fans who have paid for travel and accommodation for matches.
“We believe football is at its finest when bringing people together at times of huge national significance – be those moments of joy or moments of mourning,” said the FSA in a statement. “Our view, which we shared with the football authorities, is that most supporters would have liked to go to games this weekend and pay their respect to the Queen alongside their fellow fans.
“Not everyone will agree, so there was no perfect decision for the football authorities, but many supporters will feel this was an opportunity missed for football to pay its own special tributes.
“As usual, the Football Supporters’ Association will be collating advice about supporters’ entitlements regarding expenses incurred relating to postponed games this weekend.”
Train tickets can be amended up until 6pm before the day of travel.