SPFL announce decision on weekend's Scottish football fixtures after the death of Queen Elizabeth II
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The game’s governing body have paused their entire card as a mark of respect, meaning the cinch Premiership, Championship, League One and League Two will take a break. The Scottish Women’s Premier League, the Highland League and Lowland League have also been stopped.
The Queen passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday afternoon and the SPFL quickly took the decision to postpone Friday evening’s Championship match between Cove Rangers and Dundee.
Now they have followed up by calling off all matches planned for this weekend. In the Premiership, Hibs were due to visit Dundee United on Saturday before Hearts entertained St Mirren on Sunday following their midweek European tie against Istanbul Basaksehir.
The other top flight fixtures planned were Aberdeen v Rangers, Celtic v Livingston, Kilmarnock v St Johnstone and Ross County v Motherwell. New dates for those games will be announced in due course.
A statement released by the SPFL read: “Following meetings this morning, the Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish Women’s Premier League, and Scottish Highland and Lowland Football Leagues have agreed that all professional football matches will be postponed this weekend as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“This postponement will also incorporate the Women’s Scottish Cup fixtures this weekend.”
Rod Petrie, the Scottish FA president, explained: “We spoke with our counterparts across the UK this morning and in discussions with our colleagues across the professional game in Scotland it was agreed that this was the appropriate step to take following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“We will work with our clubs and members in the meantime to ensure appropriate steps are taken throughout the period of mourning.”
Neil Doncaster, the SPFL chief executive, added: “Following consultation with the UK and Scottish Governments, the Scottish FA, our counterparts at the EPL and others, we confirm that all SPFL fixtures scheduled for this weekend will be postponed as a mark of respect.
“The passing of The Queen, a constant in our lives for 70 years, is a profound and momentous occasion. It is therefore appropriate that professional football marks this event with all possible solemnity.
“We will update clubs and supporters when we have clarity over official arrangements for Her Majesty’s funeral.”
The challenge for the SPFL is fitting rescheduled matches in to an already congested schedule. The World Cup in Qatar is due to begin on November 20 and there are no free midweek dates before then due to European competitions, international matches and domestic cup ties. Hearts could play St Mirren on October 18 or 19 as both clubs are out of the Premier Sports Cup due to take place that week.
It may transpire that some postponed fixtures do not take place until after Christmas.
Murdoch MacLennan, the SPFL chairman, said: “The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of a glorious, momentous reign.
“Our thoughts, prayers and sincere condolences go out to the Royal Family as we give thanks for the selfless contribution of our country’s longest-serving monarch.”