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15th Sep 2022

Why have some Premier League games been suspended this weekend?

Jack Peat

Three games have been called off so far 

Premier League action returns this weekend after all games were suspended last week following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Aston Villa will face Southampton on Friday night, with Nottingham Forest playing Fulham at Craven Cottage at the same time.

On Saturday, three fixtures will take place, including Wolves versus Manchester City at Molineux and Tottenham Hotspur versus Leicester City in North London.

Eddie Howe will also face his former club as Newcastle United take on Bournemouth as the only 3pm kick-off.

But not all scheduled fixtures will take place.

Crystal Palace vs Brighton & Hove Albion 

The derby between Brighton & Hove Albion has been postponed at the Amex Stadium.

A scheduled rail strike had been due to take place, which had originally scuppered the fixture.

But even after the walk-out was called off, officials said the game couldn’t be put back on as there remains too much uncertainty around policing requirements in London for the Queen’s funeral.

Albion are now not due back in action until their clash at Anfield on October 1st.

They last played Leicester City on 4th September with Graham Potter still in charge.

The game ended in an emphatic 5-2 victory.

Manchester United vs Leeds United 

Manchester United’s fixture against Leeds United, due to take place on Sunday, has also been postponed.

Again, a shortage of police officers ahead of the Queen’s funeral on Monday, September 19th, has been blamed.

The visit of Leeds to Old Trafford is considered a ‘category A’ fixture, which would require extra policing than other matches.

A Manchester United statement said: “Following extensive conversations with the Premier League, Greater Manchester Police and Trafford Council, the decision has been made to postpone Manchester United’s Premier League fixture against Leeds United, scheduled to take place at Old Trafford at 14:00 BST on Sunday 18 September.

“This is due to Greater Manchester Police supporting forces across the United Kingdom at locations and events of high significance following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“The club reiterates that the safety and security of our fans is paramount and, after considering all available options, we are supportive of the decision that was made in conjunction with the relevant authorities.

“Please note, tickets already purchased for the game will remain valid for the new match date and we will contact ticket holders directly with further information when it is available.

“We appreciate the disappointment and inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding and continued support.

“The fixture will now be rescheduled and updated details will follow in due course.”

Chelsea vs Liverpool 

Chelsea vs Liverpool was the final game to fall foul this weekend.

Officials cited concerns over a lack of police resources due to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, which takes place on Monday – less than 24 hours after the game was scheduled to kick off.

In a statement released on Monday, the Premier League explained that “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”.

It added: “The Premier League would like to thank the UK Football Policing Unit and other police forces across the country, as well as our broadcast partners, for their support during this process, and will continue to liaise with them ahead of the weekend.”

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