Football world pays respects to Queen Elizabeth II following monarch's death at 96

The football world is paying its respects following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.

English Football League (EFL) fixtures scheduled for Friday have been postponed while tributes were paid before and during all European matches involving British teams on Thursday.

Britain's longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at the age of 96 after spending 70 years on the throne, Buckingham Palace announced.

Manchester United's Europa League match against Real Sociedad went ahead with a minute's silence held before kick-off and players wearing black armbands.

"Following direction from the FA and UEFA, tonight's UEFA Europa League fixture against Real Sociedad will take place as planned at Old Trafford," Manchester United said in a statement.

"A minute's silence will be held before kick-off which will allow the teams, match officials and everyone in attendance to pay their respects to Her Majesty, The Queen. Both teams will wear black armbands and the flags at Old Trafford will fly at half-mast as a sign of our utmost respect."

Arsenal held a moment of silence before the second half of their Europa League match with FC Zurich, shortly after the Queen's death was announced.

"UEFA and European football are truly saddened by the passing away of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, one of the world's most-respected figures," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.

"Our thoughts are with her family and the President of the English Football Association, Prince William, as well as with the citizens of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms."

The EFL announced that both its fixtures scheduled for Friday would be postponed as a mark of respect. Burnley were due to host Norwich City in the Championship, while Tranmere Rovers were scheduled to face Stockport County in League Two.

The EFL said a decision would be made on this weekend's fixtures on Friday.

"A determination regarding the remainder of this weekend's scheduled fixtures will be made following a review of the official mourning guidance, in addition to further consultation with DCMS and other sports on Friday morning," read the EFL's statement.

A similar decision about this weekend's Premier League fixtures is also expected on Friday, while other sporting events in Britain have already begun to see postponements.

The Premier League said in a statement it was "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."

With the death of the queen, her son Charles automatically becomes monarch and will lead the country in mourning. Royal officials said he had chosen to call himself King Charles III.