Premier League / Football stance on the Queen so different to Rugby, Cricket, Golf, Horse Racing – Why?
In the immediate aftermath of news of the death of the Queen, we saw some snap decisions made by various sporting bodies.
Completely understandable, Thursday night seeing swift decisions to cancel sporting events due to take place on Friday.
With all of the various leading sporting bodies set to meet Government representatives on Friday morning to get the official guidance on the period of national mourning that lay ahead.
Thursday snap decisions for Friday’s sporting action, saw the EFL cancel lower league matches, the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) called off Thursday evening’s programme and all of Friday’s planned race meetings, in Golf we saw Friday’s play at the PGA Championship at Wentworth cancelled, whilst Friday’s second day of play in the Test match between England and South Africa was also cancelled by the Cricket authorities.
Friday morning and sporting bodies met the Government officials…
Then the media widely reporting a statement from the Cabinet Office titled ‘Guidance for the Period of National Mourning’, The Government advice to those involved in organising sporting and entertainment events.
The UK Government leaving the decision in the hands of governing bodies. In a statement from the Cabinet Office titled ‘Guidance for the Period of National Mourning’, a section of it reading:
‘Major Events, Entertainment and Sports
There is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period. This is at the discretion of individual organisations.
“As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the State Funeral.
“They are under no obligation to do so and this is entirely at the discretion of individual organisations.
“If sporting fixtures or events are planned for the day of the State Funeral, organisations may want to adjust the event timings so they do not clash with the timings of the funeral service and associated processions.
“As a mark of respect, and in keeping with the tone of National Mourning, organisers may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem at the start of events or sporting fixtures, and players may wish to wear black armbands.’
Then we got the responses from the various sporting bodies…
Premier League official announcement – 9 September 2022:
‘At a meeting this morning, Premier League clubs paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
To honour her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation, and as a mark of respect, this weekend’s Premier League match round will be postponed, including Monday evening’s game.
Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “We and our clubs would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s long and unwavering service to our country.
“As our longest-serving monarch, she has been an inspiration and leaves behind an incredible legacy following a life of dedication.
“This is a tremendously sad time for not just the nation but also for the millions of people around the world who admired her, and we join together with all those in mourning her passing.”
Further updates regarding Premier League fixtures during the period of mourning will be provided in due course.’
The FA official announcement – 9 September 2022:
‘Her Majesty the Queen was a long-standing Patron of The Football Association and has left a lasting and indelible legacy on our national game.
As a mark of respect, following the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, English football has united to postpone all football fixtures between 9-11 September.
The FA can confirm that all football fixtures across the Barclays Women’s Super League, Barclays Women’s Championship, the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, and the Isuzu FA Trophy, will be postponed this weekend.
We can also confirm that all football fixtures across the National League System [NLS], Steps 1-6, including the Vanarama National Leagues, the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP], Tiers 3-7, and matches across grassroots football in England will be postponed.
The Premier League and the EFL have all confirmed that their fixtures this weekend will be rescheduled for a later date.
All flags at Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park will continue to fly at half-mast over the weekend.
Our thoughts remain with our president, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, and the whole of the Royal Family during this time.’
Contrast those two statements with this England Rugby announcement – 9 September 2022:
‘The overwhelming opinions shared so far within the game, are that teams and supporters want to come together to honour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to be united in our grief as we express sorrow at her passing.
Rugby, at its heart, is about community and bringing people together, in good times and in sad. Rugby clubs are a source of strength and support during times of uncertainty, and we hope that by enabling games and other rugby activity to go ahead this weekend, with families and friends congregating it will help us all to unite at this time of national mourning.
We strongly encourage all those playing sport this weekend to respectfully pay tribute to The Queen by holding a minute’s silence ahead of all fixtures this weekend. This an opportunity for teams from different areas to join together in honouring and celebrating her life.’
It gets better (worse)…
Golf – BMW PGA Championship to resume play on Saturday.
Cricket – The England v South Africa test match to resume play on Saturday.
Horse Racing – Cancelled on Saturday but resuming on Sunday and the St Leger moved to the Sunday as part of a bigger nine race card at Doncaster.
I find it quite astonishing that the Government met with all the sporting bodies, gave the guidance, then we have this outcome.
Surely you would have thought there would be an across the board reaction.
Well, there is, pretty much so anyway. All of the other sports resuming this weekend BUT no football.
Who exactly are The FA, the Premier League and the other football authorities representing when they take this totally different line to other sports?
Top level Cricket, Golf, Rugby and Horse Racing all going ahead this weekend and yet football has even gone to the extreme of banning kids football this weekend! Yes, my mate’s seven year old and his teammates who play locally as part of a club, have seen their action banned this weekend…
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