The Premier League will resume on Friday after the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II led to last weekend's fixtures being postponed, although Manchester United's match against Leeds United and Chelsea's clash with Liverpool will not take place.

The league postponed all fixtures at the weekend and on Monday as a mark of respect after the UK's longest-reigning sovereign passed away at the age of 96.

The situation has also had an impact on continental competitions this week, with Rangers' Champions League clash against Napoli being pushed back a day and Arsenal's Europa League contest with PSV postponed.

Earlier on Monday, the English Football League (EFL) confirmed fixtures will resume on Tuesday, while The Football Association encouraged clubs to observe a minute's silence ahead of matches and said no games would take place on the day of the Queen's funeral – set for Monday, September 19.

A Premier League statement read: "Seven of the 10 Premier League fixtures this weekend will be played, with three matches postponed due to events surrounding the Queen's funeral.

"Matches postponed on Sunday, September 18 are Chelsea's match against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, and Manchester United's home match v Leeds United.

"Brighton and Hove Albion's fixture against Crystal Palace, that was due to be played at 15:00 BST on Saturday, September 17, will also remain postponed.

"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."

Brighton's match against Palace was originally called off due to concerns over transport strikes, while the fixtures scheduled to take place at United and Chelsea have been postponed due to policing concerns.

Friday will see two Premier League fixtures take place as Aston Villa host Southampton and Fulham head to Nottingham Forest.

English Football League matches will resume on Tuesday and the FA has announced fixtures will go ahead this weekend – though fans are still awaiting an outcome on the Premier League.

Football across the United Kingdom was postponed at the weekend as a mark of respect following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday at the age of 96.

The situation is still impacting the football schedule, with Rangers' Champions League clash against Napoli moved from Tuesday to Wednesday and Arsenal's Europa League clash against PSV postponed.

EFL matches will go ahead throughout the week and over the course of next weekend, including fixtures being played at clubs in and around London in the days before the state funeral on Monday September 19.

Queens Park Rangers and Watford have both confirmed their matches against Stoke City and Sunderland will go ahead, while Millwall and Luton Town are also scheduled to be at home on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the FA has confirmed that fixtures in their competitions will go ahead, including those in the Women's Super League, the National League and in the FA Cup qualifying rounds.

The FA encouraged clubs to conduct a minute's silence ahead of kick-off and black armbands should be worn, while confirming no games would be played on the day of the funeral.

Football in Scotland's professional leagues is also scheduled to return this week.

But final decisions on the Premier League matches in England are yet to be announced. Those matches require more policing, with forces set to be stretched amid ongoing events during a period of national mourning.

Fixtures in London are widely considered to be most at risk, with Tottenham hosting Leicester City on Saturday, while Sunday is scheduled to see Chelsea clash with Liverpool and Arsenal travel to Brentford.

The Football Association (FA), alongside the Premier League and the English Football League (EFL), has announced new measures to help battle against anti-social behaviour in football stadiums after a number of incidents last season.

The closing weeks of the 2021-22 campaign saw some pitch invasions turn ugly, with Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp attacked after fans ran onto the pitch at the end of the Blades' Championship play-off second leg defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Another occurrence of disorder due to fans entering the field was after Port Vale's League Two play-off win over Swindon Town, with numerous Robins players claiming to have been attacked by Vale supporters.

And The FA is clamping down ahead of the new season, with fans now reported immediately to the police and automatically banned by the club for offences such as entering the pitch and the possession or use of flares or smoke bombs.

Parents or guardians of children carrying out offences will also potentially face sanctions.

Other measures announced included an increase in the number of sniffer dogs at stadiums, as well as more thorough searches of fans, while they called upon social media platforms to remove videos showing unlawful fan behaviour.

"The rise in anti-social behaviour that we saw in stadiums at the end of last season was entirely unacceptable," said Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive of The FA.

"Together, English football has introduced new measures and stronger sanctions for the start of the coming season to send out a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of illegal and dangerous behaviour.

"It is the responsibility of everyone in the game, including governing bodies, clubs, players, coaches, and fans, to ensure that we all play our part in protecting our game and each other." 

Manchester United have exposed the stark levels of abuse aimed at their players ahead of a four-day social media boycott.

Football clubs and players all over England will be joined in the action, which runs from 1500 BST on Friday until 2359 BST on Monday, by UEFA and major bodies across cricket, rugby union, tennis, rugby league and other sports.

The move follows an increase in online abuse aimed at sportspeople, with United's research offering a glimpse at how bad the problem is.

United revealed a 350 per cent increase in abuse directed towards their players since September 2019, with 86 per cent of 3,300 abusive posts categorised as being racist in nature.

A further eight per cent were deemed homophobic or transphobic.

"It must be said that while these numbers are shocking, they do only represent a 0.01 per cent of conversations that take place on social media about the club and the players," said group managing director Richard Arnold.

"By taking part in this boycott this weekend, we, alongside the rest of English football, want to shine a light on the issue. It will generate debate and discussion and will raise awareness of the levels of abuse our players and our fans receive."

An announcement of the boycott came jointly last Saturday from numerous organisations in football, including the Premier League, the English Football League, the Football Association, the Professional Footballers' Association, the Women’s Super League and the Women’s Championship.

"While some progress has been made, we reiterate those requests today in an effort to stem the relentless flow of discriminatory messages and ensure that there are real-life consequences for purveyors of online abuse across all platforms," the groups said in a release.

"Boycott action from football in isolation will, of course, not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but it will demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight."

Since that statement was released, other bodies have declared they will join the boycott from across various sports, with cycling, horseracing and hockey also on board.

Football's European governing body, UEFA, also pledged its support in a strongly worded statement from president Aleksander Ceferin on Thursday.

"We've had enough of these cowards who hide behind their anonymity to spew out their noxious ideologies," he said.

The move instigated by England's footballing bodies follows them sending a letter to social media companies in February, urging them to take numerous steps to take down online abuse, including quick removal of offensive posts and an improved verification process.

Some within the game have already taken individual action to protest, with Thierry Henry withdrawing from all social media platforms until the issue is appropriately addressed.

Henry's stance came after a spate of incidents of vile abuse being aimed at sportspeople online.

Chelsea put out a statement in January after Reece James was targeted, saying: "Something needs to change and it needs to change now."

Manchester United duo Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were also racially abused online after the side's loss to Sheffield United, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calling for stronger intervention from social media platforms.

The PFA has urged its members to remember the "vital importance" of following coronavirus and club protocols as the United Kingdom enters a third period of national lockdown.

On Monday, the UK government confirmed England would be placed under strict restrictions as COVID-19 infection rates and deaths continue to rise.

Though vaccines are starting to be rolled out to vulnerable groups, the UK recorded 62,322 new cases and 1,041 deaths on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Premier League confirmed that 40 players and staff members – a new high – had tested positive for the virus over the most recent two rounds of testing, up from 18 the previous week.

Three matches in England's top flight were postponed over the festive period, while a number of EFL games have also been unable to take place.

With elite sport allowed to continue despite the new lockdown regulations, the Premier League has insisted it has full faith in its protocols, while the EFL announced on Wednesday it would introduce a twice-weekly testing regime, starting from January 11.

However, amid the rise in cases and deaths, there have been high-profile examples of players breaking coronavirus rules over recent weeks.

Manchester City, who have been hit by an outbreak within their squad, launched an investigation into reports of Benjamin Mendy hosting a party on New Year's Eve that included guests from outside his household.

Meanwhile, Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho was disappointed to learn of a Christmas gathering which saw Sergio Reguilon, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso breach regulations, with West Ham's Manuel Lanzini also in attendance.

The PFA has released a statement, which read: "Following the announcement of a third national lockdown, the PFA would like to reinforce the message that players must follow the current COVID-19 rules and club protocols as a matter of vital importance.

"In a close-knit football environment, the ramifications of any rule breaches are potentially hugely damaging for fellow players, clubs and the game as a whole.

"It is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved that the vast majority of matches have gone ahead as scheduled and the risks to players, staff and their families have been well managed and kept to a minimum.

"Although prospects are brighter due to the vaccine's imminent rollout, players must continue to take the lead and act responsibly and professionally.

"Between now and the end of the season, we ask that you continue to take personal responsibility and follow the lockdown rules, without exception.

"Throughout the pandemic, we have seen that players have a unique position to inspire and influence society positively.

"Your compliance with the national restrictions sets the right example to millions of fans and young people. Following the rules is also the best way to protect your loved ones, your colleagues and their families from harm."

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