Sports events under review after death of Queen Elizabeth

England Test halted and governing bodies to review weekend action

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A number of sporting events scheduled for Friday have been postponed following the death the Queen, with further decisions regarding the weekend’s fixtures set to be taken.

The death of Elizabeth II, 96, who was the nation’s longest-reigning monarch and served as head of state for more than 70 years, was announced by Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Sports stars and governing bodies paid tribute to the Queen, and event organisers are now considering the most appropriate and respectful course of action regarding competitions scheduled for the weekend.

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced that Friday’s play in the men’s third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval would not take place.

The English Football League postponed two matches scheduled for Friday – Burnley v Norwich in the Championship and Tranmere v Stockport in League Two.

Play was suspended on the first day of the PGA Championship golf at Wentworth when news of The Queen’s death was announced, and the European Tour confirmed there would be no play on Friday.

“Out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family, play has been suspended at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club for the remainder of Thursday and flags at Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-mast,” a Tour statement said.

A screen displays a message that play has been suspended following the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, during day one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water. PA

“Furthermore, no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed.

“Further updates on the resumption of play will be provided in due course.”

Decisions regarding further postponements in the sporting calendar are set to be determined following consideration of official mourning guidance.

However, it is understood it will be left to sports event organisers to decide how to proceed, and postponements will not be mandatory.

A meeting involving representatives from sports governing bodies and the Government is scheduled for Friday morning.

The sixth stage of the Tour of Britain will not take place on Friday and nor will the Great North 5K, while the Scottish Rugby Union announced the suspension of all competitive domestic matches under its jurisdiction this weekend.

Manchester United’s home clash in the Europa League with Real Sociedad went ahead on Thursday night, with the club saying in a statement: “Following direction from the FA and Uefa, tonight’s Uefa Europa League fixture against Real Sociedad will take place as planned at Old Trafford.

“A minute’s silence will be held before kick-off which will allow the teams, match officials and everyone in attendance to pay their respects to Her Majesty, The Queen. Both teams will wear black armbands and the flags at Old Trafford will fly at half-mast as a sign of our utmost respect.”

The visiting fans went silent and United supporters’ anti-Glazer chants stopped before kick-off as Old Trafford held a minute’s silence.

There had been no pre-match music and the digital advertising hoardings were switched off following the news that arrived as turnstiles opened to the ground. Both sets of players donned black armbands, with United manager Erik ten Hag wearing one over his suit.

Updated: September 08, 2022, 9:24 PM
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