The Premier League announced on September 9 that its scheduled round of fixtures between September 10-12 would be postponed, with numerous sporting governing bodies following suit.
The move has come as a show of respect following the September 8 passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
There are also questions around Champions League Matchday 2, which is scheduled for next week, and the Premier League fixtures the following weekend.
Here’s the latest news on which games have been postponed, when the fixtures will resume and how the schedule will be rearranged.
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Is the Champions League postponed this week?
A moment of silence was observed at matches involving British teams in the Europa League and Europa Conference League on Thursday, Sept. 8 as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin spoke of being “truly saddened” by the news. “Our thoughts are with [the Royal] family and the President of the English Football Association, Prince William, as well as with the citizens of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realm,” Ceferin added.
British clubs are scheduled to be in Champions League action next week, with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Scottish club Rangers due to play at home after their domestic weekend fixtures were also postponed.
UEFA and European football are truly saddened by the passing away of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, one of the world’s most-respected figures.
— UEFA (@UEFA) September 8, 2022
UEFA have not made any announcement about those midweek matches being postponed, and rearranging them would present significant logistical challenges given the compressed schedule the group stage has already adopted because of the FIFA World Cup moving to a November-December timeframe.
Domestic matches elsewhere in Europe have not been postponed, so the other European cup competition fixtures hosted outside the UK look set to go ahead as scheduled.
Will the Premier League postpone matches next weekend?
News reports have suggested that the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II could take place on Monday, September 19.
The funeral would require considerable police resources, leading to reports that it could be unfeasible to safely resume the Premier League schedule while the period of national mourning continues.
Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United are among the clubs scheduled to play at home during that weekend’s Premier League slate.
The Premier League said in its postponement announcement that further updates about upcoming fixtures would be provided “in due course.”
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Is Scottish football postponed next weekend?
Football leaders in Scotland consulted their UK counterparts before agreeing to postpone their domestic schedule at all levels.
Neil Doncaster, the chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League, appeared to suggest that they will be in a similar position to organisers in England when it comes to fixtures beyond the weekend.
Following meetings this morning, @ScottishFA, SPFL, @SWPL, and Scottish Highland and Lowland Football Leagues have agreed that all professional football matches will be postponed this weekend as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
— SPFL (@spfl) September 9, 2022
“The passing of the Queen, a constant in our lives for 70 years, is a profound and momentous occasion,” said Doncaster.
“It is therefore appropriate that professional football marks this event with all possible solemnity.
“We will update clubs and supporters when we have clarity over official arrangements for Her Majesty’s funeral.”
When does grassroots football start again?
With the exception of the date of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, it looks likely that grassroots football will resume as scheduled on the weekend of Sept. 18-19.
Pointing out that the Queen was the FA’s patron and Prince William is its President, the National League said it “fully supports” the decision to postpone fixtures.
National League Statement | Saturday 10 September Fixtures
— The National League (@TheVanaramaNL) September 9, 2022
“At this moment, fixtures will go ahead as planned from Monday 12 September onwards,” organisers of the top tier of the non-league game in England said in a statement on September 9.
“We understand no sporting event of any kind will be permitted on the day of the Queen’s funeral.”
Any logistical issues impacting areas such as policing are less likely to affect the grassroots game, which requires fewer resources to hold matches.
When will the postponed Premier League games be played?
There had already been plenty of attention focused on the hectic schedule the mid-season FIFA World Cup has imposed on the Premier League, which started in early August and had aimed to play 16 rounds of matches by the second weekend of November.
League and club secretaries now face an unenviable task to find slots in the calendar when the matches affected by postponements can be replayed.
An international break at the end of September means there are no obvious gaps in the schedule before the World Cup, so the rescheduled games will almost certainly have to take place in 2023.
A midweek slot during the week starting January 16 looks the most likely first date when rescheduled games could be held.
The situation is further complicated by the involvement of English teams in European and domestic cup competitions. The scheduled dates for all of the competitions are already known, so those would be freed up if clubs are knocked out by then.
Managers such as Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp are rarely shy to voice their concerns about fixture congestion, and clubs are understood to have been assured about the risk of a pile-up before the announcement of the postponements was made.
There are similarities to the headaches clubs faced because of infection outbreaks at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — except that there was no World Cup-shaped six-week break to factor in at that time.
Should Premier League games also be called off on the weekend of September 17, clubs will go almost a month without playing top-flight games before the action resumes on the weekend of October 1 following the international break.