Football fans blast 'classist' decision to axe this weekend's matches in honour of the Queen while rugby and cricket remain on - as fears grow that pressures on stretched police will stop NEXT weekend's fixtures too 

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Football fans have reacted angrily to what they called a 'classist' decision to cancel matches as a mark of respect to The Queen while other sports go ahead, with accusations of classism made. 

Matches could also be cancelled next weekend over fears police forces will be dangerously overstretched ahead of The Queen's funeral on Monday September 19.

The security operation around the funeral is expected to be the biggest in British history, involving around 10,000 police officers every day, as millions arrive in London to pay their respects to the country's longest-serving monarch. 

Police and security forces are meeting to discuss plans for the funeral and the days before and after. 

If they decide police will be too thinly spread, they could recommend football matches are delayed for yet another week. 

The Metropolitan Police force has announced that roads in a large area of central London will be closed ahead of the funeral as part of the major security operation.

Fans have argued working-class people were being unfairly punished by the cancelled games, while other sports are allowed to go ahead. 

While all football is cancelled, cricket, rugby league and union, golf and others are being played, sparking protests. 

Fears that football fans would be disrespectful towards The Queen was reportedly a factor in the decision to cancel Premier League games. 

A moment's silence was observed ahead of kickoff between West Ham United and FCSB on Thursday, and fans sang God Save The Queen during the game

A moment's silence was observed ahead of kickoff between West Ham United and FCSB on Thursday, and fans sang God Save The Queen during the game

A moment's silence was observed ahead of kickoff between West Ham United and FCSB on Thursday, and fans sang God Save The Queen during the game 

Thousands of police officers are expected to be involved in the funeral security operation, with fears forces could be spread too thinly to police football matches next weekend

Thousands of police officers are expected to be involved in the funeral security operation, with fears forces could be spread too thinly to police football matches next weekend 

 

Football fans shared their opposition to the cancelled matches online, claiming the decision was 'classist'

Football fans shared their opposition to the cancelled matches online, claiming the decision was 'classist'

One fan said: 'Cricket, Rugby, Horse Racing, Golf all going ahead, yet the working man and woman's sport will be denied to them by the opportunism of a few at the top to gain an advantage for themselves.'

Another added: 'Did we need to cancel Premier League football? The working-class struggle with the cost of living crisis & also mental health implications of missing out on "release from life stresses."' 

Most other public entertainment is also going ahead, including theatres, pubs and cinemas, with a moment's silence observed before many events. 

At West Ham's Europa Conference League against FCSB on Thursday, fans of the East London club belted out God Save The Queen in tribute to the late monarch.

A moment's silence was observed at the match ahead of kickoff.

Peter Crouch lead the opposition to the cancelled matches, arguing fans showing respect to The Queen ahead of kickoff would be 'a better send off'.

The former Liverpool and England striker said on Twitter: 'I know it’s only a game and some things are much bigger but imagine all our games went ahead this weekend. 

'Black armbands, silences observed, national anthem, Royal band playing etc to the millions around the world watching? 

'Isn’t that a better send off?'

Others, including Piers Morgan and Gary Neville, also pitched in to argue the cancellation was unnecessary.

TV host Morgan lashed out at the 'ridiculous decision' while former Manchester United player Neville added: 'Sport can demonstrate better than most the respect the Queen deserves.'

Fans' group The FSA told football authorities the cancelled fixtures were a missed opportunity for fans to pay tribute to the Queen ahead of kickoff.

The Metropolitan Police said roads in a large area of central London will be closed ahead of the funeral

The Metropolitan Police said roads in a large area of central London will be closed ahead of the funeral 

Neville said football fans could show the Queen the respect she deserves

Morgan said it was a 'ridiculous decision' to postpone this weekend's fixtures

Gary Neville and Piers Morgan also criticised the top flight's decision on Friday afternoon

The Premier League released a statement saying they made the decision to postpone the fixtures to honour Queen Elizabeth's 'extraordinary life and contribution to the nation'

The Premier League released a statement saying they made the decision to postpone the fixtures to honour Queen Elizabeth's 'extraordinary life and contribution to the nation'

A spokesperson for the FSA said: 'We believe football is at its finest when bringing people together at times of huge national significance – be those moments of joy or moments of mourning.

'Our view, which we shared with the football authorities, is that most supporters would have liked to go to games this weekend and pay their respect to the Queen alongside their fellow fans.

'Not everyone will agree, so there was no perfect decision for the football authorities, but many supporters will feel this was an opportunity missed for football to pay its own special tributes.

'As usual, the Football Supporters' Association will be collating advice about supporters' entitlements regarding expenses incurred relating to postponed games this weekend.'

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said yesterday there was 'no obligation' to postpone sporting fixtures and that any decision was left 'at the discretion of individual organisations'. 

The Premier League, the most profitable football league in the world, said on Friday all matches were cancelled this weekend 'To honour [The Queen's] extraordinary life and contribution to the nation, and as a mark of respect'.

The FA later announced that all games in England, down to the grassroots level, would also be cancelled. 

The Metropolitan Police was contacted for comment.

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