Arsenal’s Europa League clash with PSV Eindhoven on Thursday remains in doubt over potential policing issues in London related to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, according to reports.
The Gunners were expected to host the Dutch side in north London in their second Europa League group game, but there are fears that sufficient police forces will not be available due to the impending funeral for Queen Elizabeth II, due to be held on Monday 19th September.
However, the Queen’s coffin will be transported to London on Wednesday, and laid in state in Westminster Palace, with the belief that thousands if not millions of people will wish to pay their respects.
It means that increased police may be required in other areas of the capital and, after seeing last weekend’s Premier League clashes called off on grounds of respect, it could now come down to logistics, with Arsenal also due to be in London on Sunday for a trip to Brentford.
The Telegraph claimed that “Uefa was confident this week’s other European fixtures would go ahead barring Arsenal’s second Group A fixture, due to take place in London less than four days before the late Queen’s funeral”.
And, should this prove a step too far, it is almost certain that Sunday’s clash will also follow in being postponed, leaving a fixture headache for the Gunners and the respective bodies.
With a World Cup breaking up the season, Arsenal play every midweek between the international break ending and the World Cup beginning, meaning that any postponements will have to be rescheduled after the Qatar tournament or forced in place of other fixtures which would in turn have to be postponed to make room.
The next round does not commence until February, meaning that there could be space after the World Cup to fit in any postponed games.