Champions League anthem to be dropped as fans left saying same thing

Millions predicted to descend on London for Queen's funeral

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The iconic Champions League anthem will not be heard before kick-off at matches played by British clubs this week after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, according to reports. The nation is currently in a period of mourning after the longest-serving female monarch in history died at the age of 96 on Thursday, with all Premier League and EFL games having been postponed as a mark of respect last weekend.

Champions League fixtures will go ahead as normal on Tuesday and Wednesday apart from a slight alteration with regards to the anthem, which the Daily Telegraph are reporting will not be played at British stadiums. However, there is a sense of irony in the decision to avoid playing it, with the theme having originally been based on a composition named Zadok the Priest that was played at the Queen’s coronation back in 1952.

The arrangement, which was composed by George Frideric Handel, served as inspiration for the writing of the Champions League anthem by Tony Britten when the competition was rebranded with his current name in 1992. A number of people have already pointed this out on social media, with many left confused and surprised by the unique link between the anthem and the theme played to mark the start of the Queen’s 70-year reign.

“Zadok the Priest, which the Champions League anthem is based on, is a coronation anthem so I assume they thought it would be distasteful,” explained @ThatTallGuy141 in reply to a tweet asking why European football’s most recognisable tune will not be played in Britain for this week’s round of fixtures.

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@derekclarksport added: “This is mental although I can’t wait to hear the Champions League anthem being belted out when Charles is crowned king.”

“Thought it sounded familiar,” quipped @JPMelly1, while @drwilding said: “If they play the Champions League music during Charles’ coronation Twitter will explode.”

The decision to avoid playing the Champions League anthem at UK-based matches on Tuesday and Wednesday comes after a handful of additional Premier League fixtures were postponed due to concerns over policing ahead of the Queen’s state funeral in seven days’ time. Manchester United’s scheduled meeting with Leeds United is one of two events to have been affected, while Liverpool’s highly-anticipated trip to Chelsea will also not take place this weekend.

Arsenal’s group stage match in the Europa League against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday is another game to have been postponed in the wake of the Queen’s death and will need to be rearranged in due course. Meanwhile, all other Premier League and European fixtures between now and the end of this week are expected to be played with the exception of Crystal Palace’s trip to Brighton, which had already been halted due to planned rail strikes.

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