Gary Lineker regrets football's 'missed opportunity' as cricket goes ahead

Gary Lineker questioned the decision to axe this weekend’s football fixtures after watching cricket pay an emotional tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at The Oval on Saturday.

The Premier League announced on Friday it would postpone all 10 matches due to be played on Saturday and Sunday as a show of respect following the death of the long-serving monarch.

Fans have been almost totally united in their frustration at seeing games across the country, even at grass roots level, called off, especially after the separate rugby, golf and cricket governing bodies took the decision to carry on.

A capacity crowd at The Oval observed an impeccable minute’s silence, before Ben Stokes and his side belted out an emotional and historic rendition of God Save the King.

Watching on as the third Test between England and South Africa resumed on Saturday morning, Match of the Day host Lineker wondered whether football had ‘missed an opportunity’.

‘Given the wonderful and moving scenes at The Oval, it feels a real shame that football is not taking place this weekend, therefore missing the opportunity to pay its respects,’ he wrote on Twitter.

The Football Supporters’ Association has called for fans left out of pocket by the postponement of matches following the Queen’s death to be treated sympathetically.

Asked if that reinforced the FSA’s view, Clarke, who admitted there was a range of views even within its membership, said: ‘We feel that there were other ways of paying tribute that would have actually been more meaningful than simply calling everything off, particularly with things like kids’ football.

‘I’m sure that the youngsters could have found better ways of doing it than sitting at home on their Xboxes or going out with their parents to alternative events.’

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