Graham Potter’s unveiling as the new manager of Chelsea has been canceled following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The 46-year-old was due to be presented before the media on Friday ahead of the Blues’ Premier League clash with Fulham which has officially been postponed. Potter’s first public appearance since his appointment as a Chelsea boss on Thursday will now have to wait, as the club pay their respects to the nation’s longest-serving monarch, who has died aged 96 later.
“As the nation enters a period of mourning following the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, we do not feel it is appropriate to proceed with media scheduled for today,” a statement read. “We have therefore made the decision to cancel this press conference. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes, particularly to those who may have already started travelling to the training ground.
As a a mark of respect, all of this weekend’s matches in the Premier League and EFL have postponed, and a decision will be made on when to reschedule the fixtures in due course. Football has been paying tribute to the Queen’s passing, with Chelsea stars Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling among them.
“Thank you for your service. Rest in peace Your Majesty,” Mount wrote, while his teammate Raheem Sterling added: “My deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this incredibly sad time.”
Former England star Gary Lineker joined the sympathies, saying: “Such a terribly sad day. Her Majesty The Queen has died. A truly remarkable woman who served her country with dignity, loyalty and grace. A comforting ever present in the lives of most of us. Rest In Peace, Your Majesty.”
Ex-Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle striker Michael Owen also posted on social media: “RIP to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you Ma’am for your lifetime of service and dedication.” And his former teammate Rio Ferdinand reflected: “My thoughts and condolences are with the members of the Royal Family. Rest In Peace Your Majesty.”
Pele, regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of football, posted: “I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968, when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracana. Her deeds have marked generations. This legacy will last forever.”
The Premier League issued a statement of their own saying: “The Premier League is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and condolences are with The Royal Family and everyone around the world mourning the loss of Her Majesty.”