Thousands of police officers will be deployed in London over the coming days ahead of the Queen’s funeral, meaning three Premier League matches have been postponed

The Premier League fixtures between Manchester United and Leeds and Chelsea and Liverpool will not take place this coming weekend following the passing of the Queen last Thursday.

The matches were scheduled to take place on Sunday, with kick-off at Old Trafford set for 2pm and Stamford Bridge for 4.30pm. Around 10,000 police offers are needed in London for safety reasons over the 10-day mourning period for Elizabeth II, as several public events will take place.

The Premier League have also confirmed two games have been moved. Brentford’s home game against Arsenal will now take place at 12pm and Everton will face West Ham at Goodison Park at 2:15pm, with both games taking place on Sunday.

A Premier League statement read: “Premier League fixtures will resume this weekend after a pause to the season as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Seven of the 10 Premier League fixtures this weekend will be played, with three matches postponed due to events surrounding The Queen’s funeral.”

The statement continued: “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 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.

“For the matches being played during the period of National Mourning, tributes will be paid to The Queen at Premier League stadiums. New dates for the postponed matches will be announced in due course.”

The Queen passed away at her Balmoral estate in Scotland and her funeral will take place on Monday, September 19. Thousands of people, if not millions, are expected to descend on the capital over the coming days to pay their respects to the beloved monarch.

Members of the public will also travel to London to celebrate the accession of King Charles III, Elizabeth II’s son and successor. Not all of the 140,228 police officers in service have received special training to be part of Police Support Units (PSUs) on matchdays.

No football games were played in England over the past few days out of respect for the Queen, despite other sports continuing. The FA has confirmed football can resume, but several fixtures are expected to be postponed due to a lack of available police officers.

The news is a blow to those impacted, with this season’s schedule already packed due to the World Cup taking place between November and December. The Premier League term has already been extended by two weeks to compensate for the tournament.

Speaking to Mirror Football, Geoff Pearson – a professor of law at the University of Manchester and an expert in policing football matches – explained why the postponements were necessary. “In reality they won’t be given any choice over the matter,” he said.

“It is the safety officer and the chief executive of the club who ultimately bear the responsibility for the safety of the spectators in the stadium, but the safety certificates require a certain level of policing.

“It’s a highly challenging situation. Cancelling fixtures this weekend is not going to be an easy answer going forward. But they will have a minimum number of riot-trained officers that they will want in London around the funeral. If mutual aid is needed to fulfil that, which it probably is, then some of those will need to come from other forces.

“And if that means football matches don’t go ahead, then that is what will happen. It has always been the case in policing, particularly around the royal family and these kinds of national events, they will take precedence over everything else.”

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