British clubs ‘are BANNED by UEFA from playing the national anthem following the death of the Queen’
From Ogundele Olanrewaju
British clubs have reportedly been banned from playing the national anthem in their European fixtures this week by UEFA following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
As exclusively revealed by MailPlus, Premier League sides Manchester City and Chelsea and Scottish Premiership giants Rangers asked European’s governing body to play God Save The King ahead of their home Champions League matches.
But UEFA rejected their pleas despite the nation still being in mourning following the death of the Queen.
They stated requests were refused ‘on the basis of maintaining a consistent pre-match ceremony with a subdued atmosphere and without any celebratory activities across all UK venues to show respect’.
A UEFA spokesperson is also quoted as saying: ‘There will be no anthems played – this also includes the UEFA Champions League anthem – on the basis of maintaining a consistent pre-match ceremony with a subdued atmosphere and without any celebratory activities across all UK venues to show respect as we did last Thursday.’
But the report claims Rangers still intend to press ahead and defy the ban, which could result in a potential fine, but there is no confirmation whether City and Chelsea will follow suit.
However, the report claims Liverpool – who take on Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday night – did not make a similar request and gave UEFA cause to state they have to ‘remain consistent across all UK venues’.
The Champions League anthem will also not be played before kick-off, the banner will not be waved in the centre circle, player mascots will not be present and – along with a moment of silence – black armbands will be worn where requested.
Chelsea and Rangers in particular have close links with the Royal family, as do Arsenal, but their Europa League clash against PSV Eindhoven has been postponed due to ‘insufficient police personnel’.
The Chelsea Pensioners are closely linked with the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, which was founded by King Charles II in 1682.
Meanwhile, Sportsmail columnist and former Rangers boss manager Graeme Souness revealed he had a portrait of the Queen installed in the home dressing room shortly after taking charge.
UEFA however are standing firm on their refusal to allow a rendition of God Save The King to be played at the Etihad Stadium, Stamford Bridge and Ibrox this week.
There is no such ban for EFL clubs, who played the anthem ahead of their midweek fixtures.
It comes after a weekend in which Premier League fixtures were postponed as a mark of respect, with three more also not going ahead this weekend.
Other sporting events did take place last weekend though, with England and South Africa’s cricketers and supporters singing God Save the King before the start of the third Test.