Arsenal‘s home game in the Europa League this week was postponed by UEFA on Monday because of the limited police resources available after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The north London club was due to host PSV Eindhoven on Thursday, when the city will be preparing for the state funeral on Sept. 19.
UEFA said the postponement was “due to the severe limitations on police resources and organizational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning” for the queen.
On Sunday, UEFA agreed to push back the Champions League game between Rangers and Napoli by one day to Wednesday because of policing issues in Scotland. Fans of the Italian club have been urged not to travel to Glasgow to help further limit demand on public services.
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.
Domestic games across Europe must stop by Nov. 13 when players selected for the 32 World Cup squads have to be released to their national teams.
Arsenal was playing its opening game in the Europa League in Switzerland when the 96-year-old queen’s death was formally announced last Thursday. The Arsenal and Zurich teams observed a minute’s silence on the field before the second half kicked off in St. Gallen.
After all soccer in England was postponed over the weekend, games are set to resume on Tuesday.
Three more Premier League games postponed
Three English Premier League games scheduled for this weekend were called off on Monday on safety grounds while authorities make preparations for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Manchester United’s home game against Leeds and Liverpool’s match at Chelsea, both set to take place on Sunday, were postponed. Brighton’s home game against Crystal Palace will remain postponed, having initially been called off because of a rail strike that will now not happen.
It reduces the next round of the league to a seven-game program. All 10 games in the most recent round – from Saturday to Monday – were postponed as a mark of respect following the death of the queen on Thursday.
Otherwise, soccer was resuming in Britain from Monday after a nationwide pause from Friday to Sunday – from the professional game down to the grassroots. The Premier League game between Leeds and Nottingham Forest, scheduled for Monday night to finish off the eighth round, remained off.
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.
The Premier League is still not back up to full swing, though, as authorities weigh up the logistical issues of staging a state funeral that will be attended by heads of state and royalty from around the world next Monday, and the policing of high-profile soccer matches in the preceding days.
“Following extensive consultation with clubs, police, local safety advisory groups and other relevant authorities, there was no other option but to postpone the three fixtures,” the Premier League said.
The league said the postponements were made “due to events surrounding the queen’s funeral.”
The monarch’s coffin will be flown on Tuesday to London, where it will lie in state at the Houses of Parliament from Wednesday until the morning of her funeral. The buildup to the funeral requires a vast police and security operation, with forces pulled from cities outside London.
“With a national policing plan now in operation,” the EFL said, “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.”