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New dates proposed for delayed World Cup playoff clash

10 Apr 2022 2 minute read
Wales’ Aaron Ramsey celebrates the win against Austria in play off semi-final against Austria. Photo Nick Potts PA Images

Wales’ World Cup play-off final against Scotland or Ukraine could go ahead in June after media reports in Ukraine suggest UEFA has proposed two new dates for the delayed semi-final between the two sides to take place.

The match was originally due to be played in March but was postponed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Wales, Scotland and Ukraine were then jointly entered among the lowest seeded teams in the World Cup draw which took place in Qatar just over a week ago.

UEFA have offered the Ukrainian FA the choice of playing Scotland in Glasgow on 31 May or 1 June but are yet to confirm a date for the final in Cardiff later in the month.

Scotland are also due to play Ukraine in Glasgow on 7 June in a Nations League qualifier but the earlier game could now count as both a World Cup qualifier and a Nations League game to reduce the fixture backlog.

UEFA are hoping the final in Cardiff will be played by the end of the June international window but even by combining the two games against Ukraine, Scotland could face a gruelling four games in 14 days, with a game at home to Armenia on 4 June and Ireland in Dublin on 11 June, before travelling to Armenia three days later.

Special exemption

Most of the Ukraine squad is drawn from Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk and the teams are currently training in Romania and Turkey respectively, the players having been given a special exemption from national service to fight in the conflict.

Ukraine are trying to confirm a training camp in either Poland or Turkey so they can prepare to face the Scots, with the Polish FA offering to take care of all accommodation and travelling costs ahead of the game in Scotland.

The eventual winners of the play-off final will take their place in Group B alongside England, the USA and Iran.

Should Wales qualify they will play their first game against the United States on 21 November, and their second game against Iran on 25 November.

They would play England in Qatar on 29 November.

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

With due respect to Ukraine playing a World Cup qualifier should be the last thing on their minds seeing their country itself is under threat by Russia.

I wish UEFA would stop their navel gazing and announce fixture dates, as it not only unfair both Ukraine & Scotland but Wales too because there’s such a thing as momentum and that can easily be lost due to delays.

Wynford Jones
Wynford Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Disagree with your 1st paragraph. Even if they lose to Scotland or Wales, it would probably be a morale boost to their people to see important normal life events continuing. Their government is best placed to make a judgement on this matter.

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