Scotland-Ukraine postponed until June but Wales semi-final goes ahead as planned

Scotland’s World Cup play-off against Ukraine has been postponed and rescheduled for June.

The match, which was due to be played at Hampden Park on March 24, has been delayed for three months following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Announcing the move, FIFA said: “On March 3 2022, the Ukrainian Association of Football wrote to FIFA requesting that its qualification match(es) be rescheduled owing to the impossibility of organising both the travel and training of a team under the current circumstances.

“Following consultation with UEFA and the four participating member associations in Path A of the European qualifying play-offs, it was unanimously agreed in the spirit of solidarity to accept this request.”

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The Scottish Football Association welcomed the fixture delay, saying it had supported Ukraine’s request for a postponement.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “In light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, it is the correct decision by FIFA to postpone our play-off, as requested by the Ukrainian Association of Football.

“The importance and significance of football is greatly diminished in a time of war and our thoughts are with those Ukrainian civilians affected by the conflict.”

Scotland or Ukraine will play the winners of the Wales-Austria semi-final in the same June window to determine a place at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

The Wales-Austria semi-final will go ahead as planned at the Cardiff City Stadium this month.

The FIFA statement added: “It was further agreed that the match between Wales and Austria will remain as scheduled on 24 March 2022, owing to the need to limit the disruption to the competitive matches already scheduled for the June window in what is an already congested calendar.

“Alternative fixtures for affected teams in the March window are being explored by the relevant parties.

“Similarly, the details of the rescheduled fixtures will be announced in due course and the international match calendar window of June will be adapted as necessary for the teams concerned once these details have been finalised.”

Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney simply tweeted: “See you at CCS v Austria on 24th March”, adding the word “Solidarity” with a Ukrainian flag emoji.

Scotland confirmed they will play an away friendly against the losers of the Wales v Austria tie on March 29.

Poland have been given a bye to the final in Path B, with their scheduled semi-final opponents Russia having been banned from international competition by FIFA and UEFA, world and European football’s respective governing bodies.

The Russian Football Union’s appeal against the ban on its national teams and clubs from international competitions has reached the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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The CAS confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that it has received notice of Russia’s appeal against the ban.

The statement added: “The CAS anticipates being able to share further information on the proceedings through a media release in a few days’ time, once a decision has been issued with respect to the requests for a stay.”

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