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Arsenal’s European game off as football makes plans in wake of the Queen’s death

Arsenal’s Europa League tie against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday has been postponed (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Arsenal’s Europa League tie against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday has been postponed (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Arsenal’s Europa League match against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday has been postponed with police resources in London stretched in the wake of the Queen’s death last week.

UEFA confirmed on Monday that the tie would not now be played and that a new date for the match would be communicated in due course.

European football’s governing body said the postponement was due “to the severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”.

The PA news agency understands Chelsea’s home Champions League match against Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday will go ahead as planned, while the midweek EFL programme is unaffected.

Arsenal released a statement which read: “The postponement follows liaison between UEFA, the Metropolitan Police and ourselves, after the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“We are working with the authorities to reschedule the match and any tickets purchased for this fixture will be valid for the rescheduled date.”

The tie has to be played before the end of the group-stage window, with either the Premier League game at home to Manchester City on October 19 or the Carabao Cup fourth-round clash with Brighton on November 8 likely to be moved to accommodate the PSV fixture.

Switching venues to host the game in Eindhoven had been discussed, while the option to host behind closed doors at the Emirates would still have required a level of policing.

The postponement of a match in London on Thursday would appear to place serious doubt over Premier League matches taking place in the capital on Saturday and Sunday.

In the Premier League, Tottenham are due to host Leicester on Saturday evening while Brentford host Arsenal and Chelsea are at home to Liverpool on Sunday.

Two London-based EFL clubs, QPR and Leyton Orient, confirmed on Monday that their home matches against Stoke and Walsall respectively would go ahead as planned on Saturday after discussions with the relevant authorities.

In Scotland, Rangers’ Champions League tie with Napoli has been put back a day to Wednesday, September 14, due to “severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues”.

However, professional domestic football in the country will resume this weekend, the Scottish Football Association said on Monday. The Football Association of Wales said all its competitions can resume from Tuesday.

All EFL matches scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday are set to go ahead, with clubs planning to pay tribute to the Queen.

“A minute’s silence will be held before matches, with black armbands to be worn by participants, flags to be flown at half-mast and the national anthem to be played in stadiums,” the EFL said in a statement.

There has been plenty of conjecture since the postponement of the weekend’s Premier League fixtures about how Liverpool fans, some of whom have regularly booed the national anthem at recent finals and the FA Community Shield, would respond to a show of respect for the monarchy.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident the club's fans would respectfully observe a minute's silence for the Queen at Tuesday night's Champions League match
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident the club’s fans would respectfully observe a minute’s silence for the Queen at Tuesday night’s Champions League match (Nigel French/PA)

However, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp insists the club’s fans do not need any advice on observing a minute’s silence in memory of the Queen.

The club have asked UEFA to be able to mark the occasion of the Queen’s death ahead of their Champions League home match with Ajax.

Klopp said it should not even be a subject for debate.

“I think it is the right thing to do, but I don’t think our people need any kind of advice from me for showing respect,” he said.

“There are plenty of examples where people showed exactly the right respect; one which surprised me and I was really proud of that moment was last season when we played Manchester United around a very sad situation with Cristiano Ronaldo’s family (fans applauded in sympathy following the death of his newborn son).

“And that is what I expect. For me, it is clear that’s what we have to do. That’s it.”

The English FA confirmed leagues and competitions under its jurisdiction could resume from Monday, including the Barclays Women’s Super League and the Women’s Championship, barring any games affected by policing resource issues.

The FA also confirmed that a scheduled media conference with England manager Gareth Southgate on Thursday to announce his squad for the forthcoming Nations League matches against Italy and Germany had been cancelled out of respect for the period of national mourning.

The squad will still be announced as planned at 2pm that day.