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SBD Global/April 11, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Two Premiership Rugby Sides Will Honor Thatcher; Football Stands Firm

Premiership rugby side Saracens "became the first professional sports club to announce they will mark the death" of the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, according to Mick Cleary of the London TELEGRAPH. Saracens will hold a minute of silence before their match against Worcester Warriors at Allianz Park on Sunday. Fellow Premiership side Exeter later said it would "also stage a minute's silence" prior to its match with London Irish on Saturday. Saracens CEO Edward Griffiths said, "This is about a mark of respect not about politics. If the Queen deems the event significant enough to attend the funeral of a former Prime Minister for only the second time in her reign, then the least we can do is to recognize the importance of the moment." The stance taken by the rugby clubs "is in notable contrast" to that of the FA not to mark Thatcher's passing with any tribute prior to the FA Cup semifinals (TELEGRAPH, 4/10). Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers said that "the only tribute at Liverpool’s match against Reading this weekend will be in memory of the 96 fans who died at Hillsborough" (LONDON TIMES, 4/10). In London, Dominic King reported Reading Chair John Madjeski and Wigan Chair Dave Whelan "had suggested that sport should find a way of remembering" Thatcher. Madjeski subsequently acknowledged that there was "no chance of silence" for Thatcher, given the level of enmity toward her from the city of Liverpool, and the Hillsborough Family Support Group said it would be 'a mistake' to try hold it this weekend" (DAILY MAIL, 4/10).
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