Aston Villa v Southampton Situation
Following on from the postponement of this weekend’s football matches – from the Premier League down to grassroots – due to passing of Queen Elizabeth II, attention turns to the potential fate of next weekend’s fixtures. Aston Villa are due to host Southampton on the Friday night, a game that was due to be broadcast on Sky Sports.
Today, it was confirmed that the Queen’s funeral will be appointed as a bank holiday across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The date of her funeral is still unconfirmed at this time, but it is expected to be announced later on Saturday evening.
The bank holiday confirmation and earlier rumours point to a possible Monday date for the state funeral.
If it is Monday, considering the fact that the protocol doesn’t actually request the postponement of sporting events and that it is ultimately a FA decision, surely it would make sense for the next round of fixtures to go ahead? Especially when there is no Monday night fixture scheduled anyway, due to the international break.
Considering some of the backlash from supporters not being allowed to show their respects this weekend, like those at the cricket and rugby have been allowed to do, that should hopefully influence the FA into allowing the weekend’s matches to take place, it the funeral date is indeed the Monday.
If the date is either the Saturday or Sunday, then in terms of Aston Villa, rather than a blanket postponement, surely a Friday night game at the home of the club the late Queens’ grandson supports, should get the go-ahead?
If there is a blanket postponement again, then with an international break to come, suddenly Premier League teams will have had four weeks without a game. A month’s break is the last thing the league needs, when there is a further six-week break to come with the World Cup in Qatar.
If Monday is to be the date of the funeral, then fingers-crossed, the best case scenario is allowed and the Queen can also have a proper Villa Park send off.