‘SINCERE SYMPATHY,’ CELTIC STATEMENT; FOOTBALL FACES SHUTDOWN:

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CELTIC issued a statement following the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96 last night.

It read: “Celtic Football Club expresses its sincere sympathy and condolences to the family of the late Queen Elizabeth II following today’s announcement of her passing.”

The fixtures list now faces total shutdown as a mark of respect. A decision will be made by the SPFL early today about the weekend programme with the champions due to play Livingston at Parkhead tomorrow with a 3pm kick-off.

The Championship match between Cove Rangers and Dundee, due to take place this evening, was the first confirmed postponement.

With a period of national mourning set to begin, it appears likely there will be a full list of cancellations.

A statement last night read: “The SPFL can confirm that Friday‚Äôs game between Cove Rangers and Dundee has been postponed as a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II earlier today.

“An update regarding the fixtures scheduled for Saturday and Sunday will be provided tomorrow.”

Discussions are also said to be taking place with UEFA over next week’s European games with Ange Postecoglou’s side scheduled to travel to Warsaw to play Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday evening in their second encounter in Champions League Group F.

News of the Queen’s passing broke during the half-time interval of Hearts’ Europa Conference League match against Istanbul Basaksehir at Tynecastle with the players resuming to a minute’s silence and wearing black armbands. The Edinburgh side lost the game 4-0.

Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford and West Ham’s 3-1 win over Steaua Bucharest at the London Stadium only got the go-ahead from European bosses after it was decided it too late to call them off.

Tonight’s English league matches – Burnley v Norwich and Tranmere v Stockport – have been postponed.

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