English soccer resumes, but not all games

·3-min read

After their much-criticised decision to become the only sport in the United Kingdom to shut down completely at the weekend to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II English soccer will resume at all levels this week.

However, not all matches will go ahead with Arsenal's Europa League tie at home to PSV Eindhoven on Thursday postponed due to a lack of police resources.

Three Premier League games at the weekend are also off with police in the capital needing to secure the huge crowds expected to attend the lying-in-state ahead of the funeral on Monday (19th September).

Saturday's Brighton-Crystal Palace fixture, initially postponed due to a rail strike, is still off even though the strike has been cancelled. Chelsea v Liverpool and Manchester United v Leeds, both scheduled for Sunday, are also off.

All UK matches on Saturday and Sunday were suspended with the Football Association and English Schools Association taking an extreme position by banning all amateur matches, including children's games, as well.

With other sports proceeding, most entertainment venues open - including the Royal Opera House, and pubs, restaurants and bars operating as normal the decision was widely criticised. Not only had fans already committed substantial sums in travel and, in some cases, accommodation, they argued it had denied them the chance to come together to pay their respects to the late monarch.

The FA said fixtures in all competitions, at all levels, could proceed as scheduled but were 'subject to leagues and clubs working with the relevant authorities to stage these fixtures'. Fixtures on the day of the funeral would be postponed.

No major fixtures will be played Monday 12th September as Leeds v Nottingham Forest had already been postponed in accordance with the Premier League suspending the weekend programme. Five semi-professional non-League matches are still scheduled, two in the sixth tier, three in the FA Trophy cup competition, plus some minor fixtures.

The English Football League (EFL) -- which runs the three divisions below the Premier League, said tributes will be paid at grounds when games in EFL resume from Tuesday.

A minute's silence will be held before matches, with black armbands to be worn by players, flags to be flown at half-staff and the national anthem -- "God Save the King" -- to be played in stadiums.

The Premier League returns on Friday with Aston Villa v Southampton and Nottingham Forest v Fulham. The Women's Super League will start the season on the same day with Arsenal - featuring Matildas Steph Catley and Caitlin Ford, plus three of England's Euro 2022 winners, hosting Brighton.

Before then there is, in theory, a full slate of European ties. However, Rangers' Champions League tie with Napoli has been put back a day to Wednesday due to "severe limitations on police resources" with Italian fans told not to travel. UEFA gave similar reasons for the postponement of Arsenal-PSV Eindhoven.

Liverpool's home match with Ajax on Tuesday is on with the club planning a minute's silence among other tributes to the Queen.

There has been conjecture that the weekend's postponements were in part due to concerns as to the reaction of Liverpool fans, some of whom have regularly booed the national anthem at recent finals.

However, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said: "I don't think our people need any kind of advice from me for showing respect. There are plenty of examples where people showed exactly the right respect."