Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, has died at the age of 96.
She was placed under medical supervision at Balmoral — the royal family’s estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland — on September 8 after doctors expressed concern for her health. Her death was announced later that day.
The news prompted the enaction of Operation London Bridge (known through the code phrase ‘London Bridge Is Down’): a pre-determined plan for the procedures immediately after the Queen’s passing. A period of national mourning is expected to be announced as matters such as the funeral and the ascension to the throne of Charles, the Queen’s eldest son, are arranged.
It is also likely that sporting events will be postponed during this time as a mark of respect towards the monarch, who reigned from 1952 and celebrated her platinum jubilee this February.
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Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, it is anticipated that a national period of mourning will be declared. It is likely that some businesses and services will suspend activities during that time, and sport is expected to do likewise.
After the news was confirmed, some clubs, competitions and media outlets ceased social media activity as a mark of respect after posting statements of condolence. FC Zurich and Arsenal players stood for a minute’s silence around the centre-circle after emerging for the second half of their UEFA Europa League match in Switzerland.
The Premier League issued a simple statement following the news from Buckingham Palace:
The Premier League is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and condolences are with The Royal Family and everyone around the world mourning the loss of Her Majesty. pic.twitter.com/UlaLXEOdke
The league did not issue any further guidance over coming matches, but it is anticipated that the schedule for the next two weeks could be disrupted.
The rest of England’s Football League, as well as non-league competitions, are expected to follow a similar plan to the Premier League. Scotland’s SPFL could do likewise, along with competitions in Wales and Northern Ireland.
The EFL said: “Consideration in respect of EFL fixtures will be discussed with the Government and the wider sport sector during the period ahead and an appropriate announcement will be made at the earliest opportunity.” It later confirmed that Friday matches, Burnley vs. Norwich City and Tranmere Rovers vs. Stockport County, would be postponed, with a decision on the weekend’s other matches to come following further consultation on Friday.
The news of the Queen’s death came approximately 90 minutes before Manchester United were scheduled to play Real Sociedad in the Europa League at Old Trafford. It was confirmed that the game would be going ahead, with a minute’s silence to precede kickoff. West Ham United’s UEFA Europa Conference League game against FCSB at London Stadium was also confirmed to be on.
“Manchester United shares the sorrow of the entire nation following the announcement from Buckingham Palace on the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen,” said the club via a statement.
“The club recognises her immense contribution to public life, including sport, both here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world.
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. pic.twitter.com/QwLRZ9z4yf
“Everyone connected with Manchester United joins the wider football family in sending our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to The Royal Family.
“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 Sporting News will update this list with the confirmed postponements of competitions, matches and events.
BMW PGA Championship: Play suspended
Tour of Britain: Race ended
Championship: Burnley vs. Norwich City postponed; further announcement due on Sep. 9
League Two: Tranmere Rovers vs. Stockport County postponed; further announcement due on Sep. 9
Northern Ireland: All football scheduled for the weekend of September 10 cancelled.
Friendly: Glasgow vs. Ulster cancelled
Test: England vs. South Africa suspended
Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy: Fixtures postponed on September 9
Doncaster, Chestow, Sandown, Salisbury: Meetings on September 9 cancelled.