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Saturday January 28th, 2023 5:40PM

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

By The Associated Press
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LONDON (AP) — Soccer was to resume 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 it will be back playing again, with logistical issues likely arising ahead of the State Funeral 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-division 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.

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.

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

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

Games in London appear to be the 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.

Arsenal’s Europa League home game against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday in London was postponed by UEFA because of “severe limitations on police resources and organizational issues.”

UEFA and Arsenal face challenges in rescheduling the game amid the congestion caused by the World Cup being played in November and December in Qatar. Arsenal has no clear midweek dates before the Europa League groups are scheduled to finish on Nov. 3, with the round of 16 draw scheduled for Nov. 7.

In Scotland, the Champions League game between Rangers and Napoli in Glasgow had already been pushed back one day to Wednesday because of policing issues.

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

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports
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