As football activity resumes this Tuesday in Britain, the iconic Champions League anthem is not expected to be played on British soil during both the Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s group-stage fixtures out of respect for the Queen.
Elizabeth II passed away at her Balmoral estate in Scotland last Thursday, aged 96. The United Kingdom is observing a 10-day period of mourning and no professional football games were played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in response to Her Majesty’s passing.
The Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League have approved the resumption of football and six British clubs will be in Champions League action over the coming days, with Liverpool, Rangers, Chelsea and Manchester City all playing at home.
Clubs will still pay their respects to the Queen on football’s resumption. Liverpool have confirmed there will be a period of silence at Anfield ahead of their game against Eredivisie champions Ajax. Both sets of players will also wear black armbands.
“Flags at Anfield have been lowered to half-mast and will remain so throughout the full mourning period,” read Liverpool’s statement. “The club crests on all social media platforms have also changed to black and white, representing the colours of the mourning period… LFC would like to thank supporters in advance of Tuesday’s fixture.”
UEFA are also poised to honour the Queen by not playing the Champions League anthem on British soil, according to the Daily Telegraph. The anthem has become synonymous with the competition since it was adopted in 1992.
The Champions League anthem was written by Tony Britten shortly before the European Cup was renamed the Champions League. It’s based on George Frideric Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ – which, incidentally, has been played at the coronation of every UK monarch.
As well as Liverpool’s clash against Ajax, the other three Champions League fixtures on UK soil this week are Chelsea versus Red Bull Salzburg, Manchester City versus Borussia Dortmund and Rangers versus Napoli – with the latter game being pushed back from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Regarding Rangers’ clash with Napoli, UEFA said: “This is due to the severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”
A Rangers statement added: “No away supporters will be present at the match… UEFA have also confirmed that as a matter of sporting integrity, no Rangers fans will be permitted to attend the return fixture in Naples.”
Tottenham, meanwhile, travel to Sporting Lisbon and Celtic take on Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Shakhtar haven’t played at their home ground since 2014 due to the War in Donbass between pro-Russian rebels and Ukraine.
The FA confirmed football can resume on Monday. The Premier League added: “For the matches being played during the period of national mourning, tributes will be paid to the Queen at Premier League stadiums.”