World Cup play-off semi-final
Scotland set to face Ukraine on 1 June
Scotland are set to play Ukraine in their delayed World Cup play-off semi-final on Wednesday 1 June at Hampden Park.
The match was scheduled for 24 March but was postponed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Although the tie has been added to the international fixture list, serious doubts remain whether it will go ahead with no end in sight to the conflict that has torn Ukraine apart.
Domestic football in the country has been suspended and Dynamo Kyiv, who contribute nine members of the international squad, have not kicked a ball since mid-December.
It is not clear if they will have any appetite for football with the capital nervously holding back an invading army.
Football authorities appear determined to see fixtures fulfilled and assuming the match goes ahead the winner will take on Wales in Cardiff four days later with a place at Qatar 2022 awaiting the victors.
Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell, said: “It will be great to be able to welcome to Ukraine to Hampden Park in June.
“While, understandably, there will be two sets of competitive players who are committed to taking another step closer to World Cup qualification, we also understand and appreciate the wider context in which the match will take place.
“We have been consistent throughout that postponing the original tie was the right and only thing to do and look forward to hosting Ukraine at Hampden Park in June.”
Scotland, Ukraine or Wales will face England, Iran and USA in the first group stage of the World Cup finals being played between 21 November and 18 December. Russia have been thrown out of the tournament.
Because of the re-arranged World Cup match, Scotland and Ukraine’s Nations League Group B1 fixtures have been re-scheduled.
The recent Hampden friendly between Scotland and Poland in aid of UNICEF’s Ukraine appeal raised £500,000.
The game was played on the date the Scots had been due to face Ukraine, with £10 from each ticket going to help with the relief effort.
A crowd of 39,090 attended the 1-1 draw, with extra funds raised through fans’ donations and contributions from the Scottish FA’s commercial partners and sponsors.