The Football Association announced on Friday that all fixtures scheduled for this weekend in the Premier League, Championship, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, would be postponed.
Their decision was met with concerns from affected parties who believed the proper way to pay respect to the Queen would be to carry on with the games, staging appropriate gestures and forms of respect.
The FSA said on Friday: “We believe football is at its finest when bringing people together at times of huge national significance – be those moments of joy or mourning.”
“Our view, which we shared with the football authorities, is that most supporters would have liked to go to games this weekend and pay their respects to the Queen alongside their fellow fans.”
Former England internationals Peter Crouch and Gary Neville echoed the FSA’s opinions. Crouch posted on social media: “Black armbands, silences observed, national anthem, Royal band playing, etc, to the millions around the world watching? Isn’t that a better send-off?”
Neville added: “Sport can demonstrate better than most the respect the Queen deserves.“
Football was the only major sport that decided on fixture postponement as other sports, including cricket, golf, and rugby opted to go ahead as planned, with tributes being paid before the games began.
The Chairman of the FSA, Malcolm Clarke, has now urged rail companies and the football authorities to be sympathetic to fans affected by the postponement.
Clarke wants the authorities to ensure the supporters who were due to travel to away games this weekend do not lose out as a result of the decision of the FA.
“There’s a big question there about refunds, advance train tickets that have been booked for away games, and all of that.”
“We would certainly expect the rail industry and the football authorities to take a very sympathetic view of that. It’s not a good time to ask fans to spend money on things that don’t happen.”
The Premier League was due to resume next weekend, but there are concerns that further postponements might occur, especially with the Queen’s funeral date yet to be confirmed.
However, British clubs competing across all levels of European competitions have been given the go-ahead to carry on with their midweek fixtures.
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