Dynamo Kyiv manager says Wales should step aside and hand Ukraine World Cup spot
The manager of Dynamo Kyiv has said that Wales and Scotland should step aside and hand Ukraine a World Cup spot.
Mircea Lucescu said that Ukraine could be given a pass to the finals in Qatar amid uncertainty about when they will be able to play their qualification matches against Scotland and, if they are victorious there, Wales in the play-off final.
“We have now managed to bring 11 members of the Dynamo Kyiv squad to Romania, many of whom are in the national team,” Mircea Lucescu told Scotland’s Daily Record newspaper.
“They received a special permit from the Ukrainian government making them exempt from national service and were allowed to leave the country.
“And now is a chance for football to show their support for Ukraine too.
“Allowing Ukraine a free passage through the play-offs directly to the World Cup would be an enormous boost for the country.
“It’s the right thing to do and would immeasurably help Ukraine both in a sporting sense and also for the morale of the people.”
Mircea Lucescu made the comments after Ukraine midfielder Taras Stepanenko asked for their World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final against Scotland to be postponed again.
The Shakhtar Donetsk player told The Sunday Times that they would not have enough time get match fit before the game if it was played in June.
“We don’t want to be known as victims here. We are strong and capable guys, everyone is fine, and we can play 100 per cent.
“But the question I would ask is how can we play such an important game when you haven’t played a match for such a long time?
“Every football player knows that if you recover from an injury for a long time, no matter how much you work out in the gym and do running, you go out to play football and everything is different.
“The level and strength may not be enough with one match, but we will be asked to play two incredibly tough matches in maybe four days to get to the World Cup. If there is no option, then we must play.
“But I think it would be extremely difficult to achieve two positive results. We are hoping FIFA and UEFA recognise this and postpone the matches to give us more time to prepare.”
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