For many, the best part of the Christmas holidays is all the football one gets to watch on television as they pig out on leftover turkey, boxes of chocolate and the beverage of their choice.
Christmas matches in the Premier League were under threat until Monday, when the league decided to go ahead with the fixture schedule as normal, despite covid cases being on the rise at many clubs in the UK. Premier League teams have been advised if they have 13 fit players, and a goalkeeper, they should play their fixtures, meaning that we will have action this Boxing Day.
Boxing Day falls on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day. It is a public bank holiday in the UK and something you may not know is that when 26 December falls on a Saturday, the Boxing Day bank holiday is moved to the next Monday. If 26 December falls on a Sunday, then the holiday is the following Tuesday.
The name derives from the rich families’ tradition of boxing up and giving presents to their servants on 26 December. Boxing Day was traditionally a holiday for servants, when they would receive a special Christmas box from their masters and go home to give the boxes to their families.
Christmas Day is now a football-free day, but this wasn’t always the case. In the days before television, there would be a full programme of matches on 25 December.
In 1957, the UK held the last ever Christmas Day football game and from then on Boxing Day became the traditional day for football in the UK.
Harry Kane targets Boxing Day #PL scoring records 🎯
The Spurs star can set a new mark for goals on 26 December ➡️ https://t.co/0oVoT1BahS pic.twitter.com/AiEUA1dMnZ
While most other European countries are enjoying their winter breaks, the English and Scottish leagues are just a few of the competitions playing matches during the festive period. Originally, teams played local rivals on 25/26 December due to the lack of infrastructure in place to ferry them around, in often harsh winters.
This season, at the time of writing, the Premier League will play six matches on Boxing Day. These fixtures will include champions Manchester City versus Leicester City. Newcastle United against Manchester United is the only fixture not scheduled for the 26th and will take place on 27 December instead.
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