Tottenham vs Manchester City called off by Premier League after UK Government release statement
It was announced to the public on September 8 (Thursday) that Queen Elizabeth II had passed away at the age of 96 at the Balmoral Castle in Scotland after being placed under medical supervision.
Premier League clubs joined millions in paying their tribute to the Queen for her 70 years of service to the country. While sports is a small matter during such a time, the question of how this would impact the upcoming fixtures in England led the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to hold an all-sports call at 09:30 AM today.
The result of it was a statement that claimed that sporting events are under no obligation to be cancelled or postponed and that the modification or postponement of such games was at the discretion of the organisers.
An excerpt from the government’s statement on the matter read (h/t the Athletic) [Subscription Required]:
“The decision as to whether sporting fixtures continue to go ahead is at the discretion of organisers. Organisers may wish to consider using black armbands and observing a silence before matches are played.”
The 10-day mourning period is set to see organisers postpone the upcoming fixtures, which include Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday, September 10.
The Premier League is now set to call the weekend’s games off, as per Martyn Ziegler of the Times, which means all 10 of the PL games could now be postponed to a later date. Manchester United’s game against Real Sociedad in the UEFA Europa League went on as planned at Old Trafford yesterday despite the news of the Queen’s death being public knowledge at the time of kick-off.
According to Football.London, the official guidance from the government adds that no fixtures should take place on the day of the state funeral but there is no such guidance for other days.
The absence of police officers from the stadiums could also make matches during this mourning period a security concern for fans and perhaps this could be one of the reasons behind the imminent decision to call the fixtures off.
Spurs and Man City are the early title contenders this season. The Lilywhites are level on points with the Cityzens going into gameweek 7, with the duo trailing league leaders Arsenal by a solitary point.
Spurs are set to travel to Lisbon and face Sporting CP in their second group stage match of this season’s UEFA Champions League. The entire round of UEFA Europa League and Europa Conference League games was completed yesterday night, including English teams like Man United, West Ham United, and Arsenal.
We won our opening group game against Olympique de Marseille by a 2-0 margin. For Spurs and other teams, one issue fixture postponement can create is congestion with regards to matches.
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The calendar is already pretty tight due to the FIFA World Cup being held in November later this year.