World Cup plea
Ukraine want Scotland play-off postponed
FIFA is set to grant a request by Ukraine to postpone this month’s World Cup play-off against Scotland.
The clash is scheduled to be played at Hampden Park on Thursday, 24 March with the winners facing either Wales or Austria for a place at Qatar 2022.
With their country at war with Russia, the Ukrainians have asked for the staging of the match in Glasgow to be delayed and world football’s governing body is expected to be sympathetic. The match could be played in June.
In a statement, FIFA said: “FIFA can confirm it has received a request from the Ukrainian Association of Football today to postpone their matches scheduled for March.
“FIFA remains in regular contact with UEFA and the Scottish Football Association to find an appropriate solution.
“FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to everybody affected by what is happening in Ukraine. A further update will be provided in due course.”
Russia’s national teams and clubs have been banned from international competition by FIFA and UEFA, although the Russian Football Union announced it is appealing against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In the wake of the invasion, Scotland were among a number of countries who said they would refuse to play against Russia at any level until further notice.
Earlier this week, the Scottish FA sent a message of support to the Ukrainians, saying: “The Scottish FA president, Rod Petrie, has written to his counterpart at the Ukrainian Association of Football to send a message of support, friendship and unity.
“Football is inconsequential amid conflict, but we have conveyed the strong sense of solidarity communicated to us by Scotland fans and citizens in recent days.
“We remain in dialogue with UEFA and FIFA regarding our men’s FIFA World Cup play-off and women’s World Cup qualifier and have offered to support our Ukrainian colleagues’ preparations as best we can in these unimaginably difficult circumstances.”