Sheffield football league slammed for extreme response to football matches over weekend

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The extreme reaction from The Sheffield and District Fair Play League (SDFPL) has received backlash online given the grassroot level football and the continuation of other sports.

Others have noted that the football games of Eton College managed to continue on the weekend just a few miles away from Windsor Castle in a move that has been labelled classist.

In the days following the Queen’s death football matches were postponed from the Premier League down to grassroot levels as a mark of respect for Her Majesty.

The decision by many organisers to cancel such events has been criticised with many saying that a heart-felt tribute could have been part of the event and others who questioned why other events were not similarly affected.

Former footballer Peter Crouch tweeted: “I know it’s only a game and some things are much bigger but imagine [if] all our games went ahead this weekend.

“Black armbands, silences observed, national anthem, Royal band playing etc to the millions around the world watching? Isn’t that a better send off?”

Over the first weekend of mourning, rugby and cricket games still went ahead and horse racing also continued as the decision was up to the sporting organisers whether to continue.

Two football teams in Sheffield are now under investigation for playing a match against instruction and will be “dealt with in the strongest possible terms”.

The Sheffield and District Fair Play League released a statement in which it condemned the two clubs as “disrespectful and despicable”.

The league said: “The SDFPL Management team would like to put on record that we absolutely do not condone this disrespectful and despicable behaviour.

“There will be an investigation into this matter, in conjunction with the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA, and these two teams will be dealt with in the strongest possible terms.”

Backlash on social media was not towards the football teams but instead towards the harsh response from the League.

Twitter user @grayshuss tweeted: “I absolutely hate football, but after reading this I am arranging a local football match on the park just around the corner from where you live on Monday 19th at 10:40 – all welcome, all ages and abilities. Local organisers will split you into teams.”

The above tweet received almost 300 likes, and another said: “Despicable? Why? The cricket continued; rugby league is doing so too, just exactly what have they done wrong?”

READ MORE: Man, 38, charged for ‘holding eggs near Queen’s coffin’

Peter Daly, runs Talking Toffees FC, a men’s football game and also hosts a podcast in association with the team.

Mr Daly told Telegraph Sport: “Whilst kids up and down the country were unable to play football this weekend, it seems the same rules don’t apply for Eton.”

Meanwhile, Julian Knight MP, the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee said: “It seems very strange that Eton chose to play on while millions across the country have been denied playing or watching games.

“This is a rather embarrassing episode for Britain’s most famous public school.”

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