The English Football League (EFL) has released a statement regarding matches that will clash with Prince Philip’s funeral. The royal’s funeral is scheduled for 17th April at 3pm British Standard Time (BST) after Prince Philip passed away on 9th April. The British government has not mandated any action over events that clash with the funeral, allowing the organisers to decide for themselves.
The EFL is responsible for the administration of the three tiers below the Premier League in England, i.e., the Championship, League One and League Two. There are eight matches in the Championship that kick off at the same time as the funeral, and twelve each in League One and League Two.
As a mark of respect, EFL matches scheduled for 3pm on Saturday 17 April will be moved to avoid a clash with the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. pic.twitter.com/D29mShDGsd
— EFL Communications (@EFL_Comms) April 10, 2021
All the 32 matches across tiers will be rescheduled to avoid a clash with the funeral, EFL announced in a statement on Saturday night. The league will work with clubs to find feasible alternative timings for the matches.
“As a mark of respect, EFL matches scheduled for 3pm on Saturday 17 April will be moved to avoid a clash with the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The EFL will now work with its Clubs to determine what time the matches will be played, giving consideration to the timing of the service.”
The funeral will be held at Windsor Castle. No member of the public is allowed on account of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and thus, the event will be viewed by thousands during its live telecast.
PL AND FA TO FOLLOW SUIT?
The Premier League is yet to announce anything in this regard. Wolves host Sheffield United at 3pm BST on the 17th while West Ham travel to Newcastle earlier in the day, at 12:30pm. The FA too has not commented yet with the upcoming weekend set to host the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
— Fleetwood Town FC (@ftfc) April 11, 2021
The decision is slightly surprising given the fixture pile-up due to a compressed, pandemic-affected season. However, sport activities immediately after the death of a royal have been postponed in the past, including in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s passing away in 1997.
This weekend’s football matches won’t be cancelled or postponed, as has previously happened when royals have died.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) April 9, 2021
Clubs did not postpone matches this weekend but held a two-minute silence before every match in the Duke of Edinburgh’s honour. Players across tiers in English football, along with jockeys in the Grand National, sported black armbands as a mark of respect.
Prince Philip had a deep connection with sport and football in particular. He served as the President of the FA from 1955 to 1957 and was a regular at Wembley Stadium. He was present in the stadium during England’s finest hour in international football – the 1966 World Cup triumph over West Germany.