The Queen died aged 96 on Thursday; the world of football paid tribute to Her Majesty; Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, Scottish and non-League called off this weekend following the death of The Queen; start of WSL season also delayed
She was a wonderful monarch but an exceptional person.
The words of Leah Williamson as the England Women captain joined those around the globe in mourning the loss of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Football paused this weekend, but it has not stopped the tributes pouring in to the Queen following her death at the age of 96.
The Queen’s presence was a golden thread running through sport and both the Premier League and EFL matches were called off this weekend as a mark of respect.
The UK Government issued advice earlier on Friday that individual sports can decide themselves if sporting events can take place, providing they are done in a respectful manner.
The Premier League say a further update of fixtures on the weekend of September 17 and 18 – which also fall during the period of National Mourning – will be made in due course.
National League football fixtures have also been postponed this weekend out of respect. The non-League tiers join the Premier League, EFL and grassroots football in postponing their matches. The National League will, at this moment, return from Monday September 12.
The Women’s Super League fixtures set for this weekend have also been called off, as English football unites in tribute. The WSL was due to begin its first round of fixtures of the new season from Saturday.
Football pauses to honour Queen’s ‘incredible legacy’
In a statement, the Premier League said: “At a meeting [on Friday], 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 EFL said in its statement: “Further to discussions on Friday morning it has been determined that all EFL fixtures from 9-10 September will be postponed as a mark of respect by the National Sport to the passing of HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
“This is aligned with the approach that the Premier League and the FA will take with their competitions this weekend. Further information, in respect of how football, clubs and their supporters will commemorate Her Majesty’s reign, will be confirmed at an appropriate point.
“Details regarding rearranged games will be announced in due course.”
FIFA chief of global development, Arsene Wenger on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II:
“I arrived in England almost 26 years ago, in October 1996. During that time, it was an honour to meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II twice. Once at Buckingham Palace, and once at Windsor.
“In an ever-changing world, throughout her reign, her sense of duty, and dedication to keeping the nation united are qualities I had huge respect and admiration for.
“The tributes that have been paid by people from all walks of life from around the world, demonstrate how much she meant, to so many.
“I would like to send my condolences to the Royal Family, and to all those who are in mourning today.”
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s passing is a huge loss to football, to our society, and to the world,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
“To our sport, The Queen was present in England’s proudest footballing moment, when she presented the Jules Rimet trophy to Bobby Moore after winning the 1966 FIFA World Cup on home soil, and her support for football spans a lifetime.
“To society, The Queen was a Head of State for a number of FIFA’s Member Associations, and was an active patron of football across the United Kingdom and a supporter of our sport throughout the Commonwealth.
“To the world, our football community laments the loss of a global leader who engaged and encouraged everyone she met, and on behalf of football across the world, our thoughts are with the royal family at this most difficult time.”
The FA has confirmed tributes will be paid at the UEFA Nations League fixture with Germany at Wembley on September 26, including a period of silence before kick-off and the wearing of black armbands.
England manager Gareth Southgate paid a personal tribute to The Queen’s many years of “impeccable duty”.
Southgate said: “My thoughts today are with His Majesty King Charles III, the FA president HRH The Duke of Cambridge and the Royal Family.
“In remembering and celebrating the life of Her Majesty The Queen, we are also acknowledging her remarkable leadership and lifetime of dignified service.
“She showed the world what it is to be British. Her values, her dignity, her resilience were an exemplar to us all and she has provided us with stability and reassurance in the best and also most difficult of times.
“I was proud to have her as our patron and to sing God Save The Queen before every match.
“The team will have the chance to pay our respects at our fixture with Germany later this month. An occasion that will, of course, bring to mind the World Cup final in 1966 and the moment when Her Majesty handed the Jules Rimet trophy to Bobby Moore.
“As Wembley and the country falls silent, I will think of that and her 70 years of impeccable duty.”
England captain Harry Kane was among the sportspeople leading the tributes to The Queen following her death at the age of 96.
Kane hailed The Queen as an “amazing inspiration.”
The Tottenham striker tweeted: “My thoughts are with the Royal Family at this very difficult time.
“The Queen was an amazing inspiration and will be remembered for her incredible years of service to this country. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.”
Chelsea and England forward Raheem Sterling offered his condolences to the Royal Family.
He said on Instagram: “My deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this incredibly sad time.”
Former Brazil forward Pele was a big fan of The Queen.
He tweeted: “I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968, when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracana. Her deeds have marked generations. This legacy will last forever.”
Sarina Wiegman – who guided the Lionesses to victory over Germany in the final of Euro 2022 earlier this summer – has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.
The Dutch coach said: “I just wanted to join the many millions of people across the world to celebrate her life and mourn her passing.
“My homeland has always had a great deal of respect, admiration and love for her and I know that is a feeling not unique to the Netherlands but across the entire world.
“Developing my connection with England strengthened my bond to Her Majesty. I could feel the love the public felt for her, a mother figure for people to seek stability and peace from in uncertain times.
“The national anthem sung with such respect by my players and staff, served as a reminder of what she meant to the country. The words ‘send her victorious’ a line written on our shirts, but was also in our hearts.”
Wiegman added: “This summer she took the time to write to me and my players congratulating us for our success. In that letter she called us an ‘inspiration for girls and women’.
“It is you, your Majesty, who was the inspiration with your unrelenting work ethic, leadership, dignity and kindness.
“My thoughts are with the Royal Family and the whole of the United Kingdom as they come to terms with this tragic news.”
England captain Leah Williamson wrote on Twitter: “A constant presence of grace and decency in a world that continued to change around her. An exceptional person. A light so bright, she was a warm voice amongst times of despair. A Queen who unified the people she dedicated her life to.”
The Scottish Football Association has announced all professional matches have been called off out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II.
The weekend’s Scottish Premiership games, Women’s Premier League, Women’s Scottish Cup and Highland & Lowland League matches have been postponed.
“We spoke with our counterparts across the UK this morning and in discussions with our colleagues across the professional game in Scotland it was agreed that this was the appropriate step to take following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” said SFA president Rod Petrie.
“We will work with our clubs and members in the meantime to ensure appropriate steps are taken throughout the period of mourning.”
Scottish Premiership club Rangers held a minute’s silence by all teams at their training ground on Friday morning in respect of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Irish FA has announced all football in Northern Ireland scheduled for this weekend will not take place as a mark of respect for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
The governing body said in a statement: “As a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, this weekend’s fixtures across all affiliated football in Northern Ireland, and all other organised football activity, at all levels, have been postponed.”
Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham all held a minute’s silence in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as they took part in European matches on Thursday evening.
Arsenal held a minute’s silence before the second half of their match, with the announcement of the Queen’s passing made during half-time of their match at FC Zurich.
UEFA announced it was too late to postpone Manchester United and West Ham’s matches, which began at 8pm BST, and both teams wore black armbands for their fixtures.
In a statement, Manchester United said: “Manchester United shares the sorrow of the entire nation following the announcement from Buckingham Palace on the passing of Her Royal Highness The Queen Elizabeth II.”
Arsenal added: “Along with many of our supporters today, we will be taking time to mourn and reflect on Her Majesty’s incredible life and devoted service.”
Liverpool FC said: “Liverpool Football Club is saddened by the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. We extend our sincere condolences to The Royal Family.”
Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo wrote on Instagram: “Seven years of my career were played in the Premier League, making this my 8th season living in England.
“Throughout these years, I’ve felt the everlasting love of the UK for its Queen, and how important Her Majesty was and will forever be to the British people.
“I pay my respect to her memory and I mourn this irreplaceable lost with the country that I’ve learned to call home. My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family.”
Former England skipper David Beckham said on Instagram: “I’m truly saddened by the death of Her Majesty, The Queen. What an outpouring of love and respect we saw for the Platinum Jubilee for her life of service.
“How devastated we all feel today shows what she has meant to people in this country and around the world. How much she inspired us with her leadership. How she comforted us when times were tough.
“Until her last days she served her country with dignity and grace. This year she would have known how loved she was. My thoughts and prayers are with our Royal Family…”
Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in a post on his Instagram story.
The Italian wrote: “It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.”
Former Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho paid his tribute to the Queen.
“I’m so sorry. I have lived in England for many years, my family is there,” Mourinho told Sky Sport Italy after his current side Roma’s game on Thursday.
“I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t appreciate this great woman, I’m sorry.”
As it stands, the EFL programme is set to recommence on Tuesday 13 September.
There may be resourcing issues, particularly in respect of policing, associated with some fixtures that will need to be discussed and/or resolved on a fixture-by-fixture basis over the period ahead.
Consideration to individual fixture circumstances will be made on a case-by-case basis, in line with usual protocols.