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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Of course I understand the emotion and sentiment contained here and I am all for scheduling of games to ensure the players of Ukraine are as match fit and prepared as they would be under normal circumstances. However, I do not believe there can be a single Ukraine player or supporter who would be comfortable taking a place in the World Cup Finals which they would not have earned on merit while denying two other nations their chance to qualify. Allow more time between the semi final and a potential final should they progress. That is the best and only… Read more »
While every altruistic person (other than Putin, Lavrov, Lukashenko and their ilk) will have every sympathy with Ukraine’s national football team, sport is not about relinquishing something that has been gained in competition. Why Scotland and Cymru stepping aside?. If any team is to step aside, why not put all the qualifiers’ names along with Scotland and Cymru in a hat and see who comes out. If we’re lucky, it might be the host nation Qatar, a country which acquired the Finals through corruption and is particularly repressive.
comment of the day – the Qatar team are the only ones not to have gained their spot via competitive means. Had their FA and government any decency, they should consider allowing their place to be taken by Ukraine (if anyone).
Absolutely, put the names of the 32 finalists in a container and pull one of them out to see who misses but. The unfortunate team could be compensated by offering them automatic qualification to the 2026 finals and by compensating them financially, which would really soften the blow to them. This would seem a much fairer option if it is not possible for Ukraine to participate in the play-offs.
Why stop at the qualifying rounds? Why not just hand them the trophy? I’m all for accommodating the team with extra time to train but not simply handing them a free pass at the expense of other teams. Sport is after all a competition otherwise what’s the point of a tournament?
Nu e posibil, frate
Whoever down voted this is a plank
Not the view of my Ukraine friends
It’s easy for Dynamo Kyiv Mircea Lucescu to say how Wales & Scotland should step aside for Ukraine seeing his country of Romania failed. Would he have said the same about Romania who last appeared at a World Cup 24yrs ago? Doubt it. What next, I hear you ask? The teams in Ukraine’s group to play without goal keepers so they can win. Ukraine to be given a place in the final. Hell, why not give them the trophy and have done with it. He and others should stop using emotive language to both Wales & Scotland. We got where… Read more »
I want to agree with him. It is heart breaking.
I hope a solution can be found that gives them a distraction and keeps their pride intact.
Could other countries take Ukrainian players into their teams if they don’t get through, to represent solidarity with them and those who have be forced to flee to other countries, and keeps them involved in some way people can invest in?
That’s the only idea I can think of that might not anger or insult players/sponsors/fans and it is probably still insulting in ways I can’t imagine… 😭
Sometimes there are things bigger than sport. I for one would support helping our Ukrainian friends in this
So we are agreed then. Everyone should step aside and hand Ukraine the World Cup now then. If it means I don’t have to watch a month of football I am all for it
If any country should step aside, it should be England. They have had plenty of opportunities to participate in World Cup finals.
Does Lucescu suggest that Cymru and Scotland specifically step aside? In the quote he merely suggests that the Ukraine could be given free passage to the finals, not exactly the same thing.
As if 😄
When did this silly sport become Britain’s Got Talent? Sob stories do not decide who wins surely. I long for a free Ukraine as much as anyone. But this is silly. Should every team Ukraine then face step aside until the final when the other finalists should step aside to hand them the World Cup.
I don’t care about football. But if a sport is not about ability and availability and competition, what is the point of it?