Premier League games postponed following death of Queen Elizabeth II

·3-min read

The Premier League announced on Friday that all matches had been cancelled this weekend following the death of Queen Elizabeth II but Test cricket and golf will resume.

English top flight clubs took the decision despite guidance from the British government that cancelling sporting events was not compulsory during a period of national mourning.

"At a meeting this morning, Premier League clubs paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," the Premier League said in a statement.

"To honour her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation, and as a mark of respect, this weekend's Premier League match round will be postponed, including Monday evening's game."

All games in the English Football League, Women's Super League and Scottish professional league are also off.

The third and decisive Test between England and South Africa at the Oval will start on Saturday after Thursday's play was washed out and Friday's postponed as a mark of respect.

"She loved sport, be honoured to play in her memory," England captain Ben Stokes tweeted in response to a question on whether sporting events should go ahead.

A minute's silence will be observed before the national anthem, with players and coaches from both sides wearing black armbands.

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the match cannot be extended beyond Monday to make up for lost time due to South Africa's travel arrangements.

There will also be tributes to the queen at Wentworth when the PGA Championship resumes on Saturday.

The tournament will be reduced to 54 holes after play in the opening round was suspended on Thursday and postponed on Friday.

Sporting chiefs have also been advised to avoid any clash with a state funeral, the date of which has yet to be announced.

"There is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the national mourning period," the government said in a guidance statement.

"This is at the discretion of individual organisations. As a mark of respect, organisations might wish to consider cancelling or postponing events or closing venues on the day of the state funeral."

- Fixture crunch -

With fixtures next weekend potentially impacted by the policing operation in London for the funeral, football authorities face the headache of a fixture pile-up in a season already congested by a mid-season World Cup.

The British Horseracing Authority said there would be no races on Saturday -- extending cancellations into a third day.

King's Lynn, the only horse owned by the queen entered to run this weekend, will not run at the Curragh on Sunday.

Racing will return on that day, with the programme featuring the St Leger, one of Britain's five Classic races, which the queen won in 1977 with her filly Dunfermline.

The start to Rugby Union's English Premiership has been pushed back just a day from Friday to Saturday. Rugby League's Super League playoff eliminators will also go ahead on Friday and Saturday.

The final three stages of Cycling's Tour of Britain were cancelled on Thursday, with Spain's Gonzalo Serrano declared the winner.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo has become the latest high-profile sporting figure to pay his respects.

"Throughout these years, I've felt the everlasting love of the UK for it's Queen, and how important Her Majesty was and will forever be to the British people," Ronaldo posted on Instagram.

"I pay my respect to her memory and I mourn this irreplaceable loss with the country that I've learned to call home. My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family."

Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also posted a tribute on his Instagram account.

"She was a symbol of hope for so many and she served her country with dignity, dedication and kindness. I had the incredible honour of being able to spend time with her," said Hamilton.

Roger Federer hailed Queen Elizabeth II for her "elegance" and "grace" while Brazilian football great Pele said her "legacy will last forever".