Various leagues and organisations across the UK have amended their sporting schedules to avoid clashing with the funeral of Prince Philip, which is set to be held on Saturday, 17 April at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99 on Friday and subsequently, the Premier League, English Football League (EFL), Premiership Rugby and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) have all announced that they will move their respective fixtures ‘as a mark of respect’.
A national minute of silence will be held at 15:00 when the funeral begins and the FA has recommended that no football matches take place between 14:45 and 16:15.
As a result, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ home clash against Sheffield United in the top flight, initially intended to kick off at 15:00, has been moved back to 20:15, whilst 32 fixtures across the Championship, League One and League Two will be switched to either 12:30 or 17:30, with Sunday also being considered as an alternative option.
In the National League, all 15:00 kick-offs will be moved to 12:30 whilst the Women’s FA Cup fourth round tie between Manchester City Women and Aston Villa Women will be brought forward to 12:00.
Prince Philip, who served as President of the FA between 1955 and 1957, was honoured in a statement released by the governing body at the weekend.
“We have sent our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the FA said.
Players, who observed a two-minute minute’s silence prior to games at the weekend, will continue to wear black armbands this weekend.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, six Scottish Cup clashes have been moved, with Rangers versus Celtic rescheduled to 15:00 on Sunday.
Premiership Rugby has also confirmed that all four of its Saturday matches have been switched, with Sale’s fixture against Gloucester along with Exeter’s game against Wasps beginning at the earlier time of 12:30, whilst Newcastle against Bristol will get underway at 17:00, and Harlequins versus Worcester is also scheduled for the same time.
Racing will also rework its calendar for The Duke of Edinburgh, with both the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr and the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials at Newbury moved from the Saturday to Sunday afternoon.
The BHA issued a statement which read: “As a mark of respect for the funeral ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, it has been agreed that no racing will take place in Great Britain between 2:45pm and 4:15pm on Saturday 17 April.”
Finally, nine County Championship cricket matches will be paused between 14:50 and 16:10 out of respect, with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) requesting that all recreational clubs follow suit.