Fleetwod private school slammed for Eton football game despite FA order after Queen’s death
A private school in Fleetwood reportedly took part in a private football game yesterday (September 10), despite the FA ordering all games to stop out of respect for the Queen.
No football at any level – including the Premier League – was to be played this weekend, following a statement from the FA. This decision was a mark of respect after the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday September 8.
Her Majesty passed away peacefully at her estate of Balmoral. King Charles has now succeeded him on the throne.
READ MORE: The Queen’s coffin seen for the first time as it leaves Balmoral
Yet the public became aware of two friendlies between Eton and Rossall, Lancashire, when the latter school tweeted about the matches, reports the Mirror. Both are fee-paying establishments.
Eton told Mirror Football they believe the matches “were not covered by the FA postponement as they were not FA matches”.
Rossall’s tweet, which has now been deleted, showed footballers paying tribute to the Queen. “Following their visit to Windsor Castle, our senior men’s teams paid similar tribute in their fixtures against Eton,” Rossall’s tweet read.
According to Rossall’s fixture list, two games against Eton were due to take place at 2.30pm on Saturday. These fixtures were also visible on the Eton website.
“All at Eton College mourn the death of Her Majesty The Queen, remember with gratitude her extraordinary service and offer their deepest sympathy and condolences to the Royal Family,” read a statement from Eton College. “The whole school came together Friday morning to pay their respects and chapel services were held.
“Two friendly football matches were played with the Rossall School on Saturday. A minute’s silence was observed by the players and spectators beforehand. These test matches were part of the pre-season training program of the school and it was understood that they were not covered by the FA postponement as they were not FA matches.”
Rossall’s tweet sparked outrage on Twitter, with many questioning why fee-paying institutions were allowed to play football while other grassroots matches were called off. Amateur clubs were not even allowed to organize friendly matches against each other.
The FA statement confirmed: “As a sign of respect, following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, English football has united to postpone all football matches between 9th and 11th September… base in England will be postponed.”
Talking Toffees, an Everton fan podcast, is one of many Twitter accounts complaining about friendlies. “While children across the country can’t play football this weekend, it looks like the same rules don’t apply at Eton,” they tweeted.
Talking Toffees have contacted Mirror Football to express their frustration with the friendlies. “We have an inclusive football team – many of our players depend on it for their wellbeing and mental health,” wrote Peter Daly. “That’s why we’re so angry about it.”
And a Liverpool fan tweeted: “One rule for one…what good is the FA’s ‘For ALL’ slogan? An absolute joke! What gives Rossall and Eton the right to play when all the other games have been cancelled?
The FA’s decision to postpone this weekend’s football fixtures has been criticized with major events in other sports continuing – such as the test match between England and South Africa at The Oval. The decision to suspend grassroots football was particularly frowned upon, as thousands of children in the UK play football every weekend.