Ukraine play-off in Scotland could be delayed to allow team to compete in World Cup | Ukraine
Ukraine’s play-off against Scotland could be postponed as football authorities try to ensure the country has a chance of qualifying for Qatar 2022.
In another change prompted by the invasion of Ukraine, Poland are set to be confirmed as having a bye to a play-off final after Russia’s ban from international football was enforced on Monday.
Scotland are due to host Ukraine in Glasgow on March 24 in their play-off semi-final, but there is uncertainty over whether Ukraine will be able to field a squad, with the majority of their squad being in her home country where she plays her club football. . The Ukrainian league has been suspended until further notice.
The Scottish Football Association wrote to their Ukrainian counterpart this week offering their support and are willing to accept any arrangement that would allow the match to go ahead.
A formal offer to delay the game has not been made and it is understood by all parties that any postponement would not guarantee the game takes place. A decision on whether the game can take place on the scheduled date is to be made by the end of this week.
A statement from the SFA said: “Scottish FA chairman Rod Petrie has written to his Ukrainian Football Association counterpart to send a message of support, friendship and unity. Football is without importance in the midst of a conflict, but we have passed on the strong sense of solidarity that has been communicated to us by supporters and Scottish citizens over the past few days.
“We remain in dialogue with UEFA and Fifa regarding our men’s FIFA World Cup play-offs and our women’s World Cup qualifiers and have offered to support our Ukrainian colleagues’ preparations as best we can. in these incredibly difficult circumstances.”
Confirmation that Poland will progress, to face either Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29, is awaited. The Guardian understands that no alternative mechanism, such as editing in Hungary or Finland, which narrowly missed qualifying for the play-offs, is being considered.
Poland took a public stand against Fifa when they called for the banning of Russia, their semi-final opponents from the play-offs. They had yet to receive direct communication from the governing body on Tuesday.