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Friday February 3rd, 2023 2:26AM

Soccer resuming in Britain after pause due to queen's death

By The Associated Press
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LONDON (AP) — Soccer was resuming in Britain on Monday after a pause over the weekend as a mark of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, with lower-division games set to return to normal this week.

The Premier League, however, has yet to confirm when the top flight will be back playing again, with logistical issues likely arising ahead of the State Funeral taking place in London on Sept. 19.

The English Football League — which runs the three divisions below the Premier League — said tributes will be paid to the queen at grounds across the country when games in the second-tier Championship as well as League One and League Two 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.

“With a national policing plan now in operation,” the EFL said, referring to the days leading up to the funeral, during which the queen's coffin will lie in state in London, “the League and clubs will continue to work with forces in respect of any challenges that may emerge regarding policing of specific fixtures.”

The EFL said it will work on a “case-by-case basis.”

Before that, play in the non-professional leagues resumes Monday, with soccer having completely stopped from Friday to Sunday — from the professional leagues all the way down to the grassroots. A Premier League game between Leeds and Nottingham Forest, scheduled for Monday night, remained off to fall in line with the postponement of top-flight fixtures in the last round.

Some Premier League teams will back in action in European competition between Tuesday and Thursday — Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham in the Champions League and Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham in the Europa League or Europa Conference League — ahead of scheduled top-flight games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Liverpool hosts Ajax on Tuesday and Manchester City welcomes Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Games in London appear most at risk because of the vast security operation surrounding the queen's funeral. The Premier League schedule has Tottenham hosting Leicester on Saturday, while Brentford hosts Arsenal and Chelsea hosts Liverpool on Sunday.

Most sports resumed in Britain over the weekend after a general shutdown on Friday, a day after the queen died at the age of 96.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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