Potential World Cup play-off final for Wales postponed until June as Scotland-Ukraine match moved
A potential World Cup play-off final for Wales will now be postponed until June after Ukraine’s match with Scotland was moved due to the invasion by Russia.
Wales-Austria will still go ahead on March 24 but the winner of that match will now face a long wait to know whether they will qualify for the World Cup in Qatar in November.
Scotland were due to face Ukraine in the Path A World Cup play-off semi-final at Hampden at the end of this month, with the winners then facing the winners of the Wales-Austria semi-final on 28 March.
The Scottish Football Association however received a call from Fifa last night confirming the decision to move their fixture. The June date is itself pencilled in the hope that the conflict in Ukraine is over.
A number of members of the Ukraine squad have signed up for military duty in the war.
The postponement of the play-off means Scotland’s name will be included when Fifa makes the draw for the World Cup finals groups on April 1.
Last week Rod Petrie, the SFA president, wrote to his counterpart at the Ukrainian FA with a message of support.
“Football is inconsequential amid conflict,” he said.
“But we have conveyed the strong sense of solidarity communicated to us by Scotland fans and citizens in recent days.
“(We) have offered to support our Ukrainian colleagues’ preparations as best we can in these unimaginably difficult circumstances.”
Wales meanwhile will go into the Austria match with their best chance of reaching a World Cup since they last qualified in 1958, but with the importance of the tie put into context by global events.
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