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Telegraph columnist blasted for calling on Wales to hand Ukraine World Cup spot – ‘Why not England?’

25 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Ukraine’s Yevhen Konoplyanka during 2018 World Cup qualifying (CC BY-SA 2.0).

A Telegraph columnist has been blasted online for calling on Wales and Scotland to step aside and hand their World Cup spot to Ukraine.

Jim White, who is from Manchester, said that to qualify now Wales or Scotland would have to beat Ukraine in July or September.

He said that both would earn a lot more respect by making way “than qualifying and not making it beyond the group stage”.

Their qualification run means that Wales were now “playing to destroy a rare moment of illumination for a nation currently shrouded in miserable, imposed darkness,” he said.

“Suddenly they are the sides looking to extinguish a rare moment of hope in a nation being destroyed before our very eyes.

“Imagine if Ukraine made it to the tournament in November, what that could mean for the morale in the beleaguered nation. What a magnificent riposte it would be to the murderous dictator in the Kremlin, a man who knows full well what the World Cup offers in terms of international prestige and exposure.”

‘Not out of pity’

His view did not impress fellow Telegraph journalist James Corrigan, who asked: “Why does it have to be Wales or Scotland stepping aside. Why can’t another country give up their place? Such as England perhaps? It’s easy to ask for some other sap to make the sacrifice, isn’t it?”

However Jim White called on Wales and Scotland to take on what he called “one of the most impressive actions in the history of sport”.

“Ukraine in Qatar is the thing everyone now craves,” he said. “And for Wales and Scotland that is a problem. In fact, so onerous is the possibility that they would be the ones to smother hope,  the wisest course for both would be to stand aside and let Ukraine qualify automatically.”

The suggestion did not impress those, reacting to the article, with one Ukrainian fan, Діма, saying: “Absolute nonsense. We want to be at the World Cup, but by merit, not out of pity.”

Ollie Davies asked: “Never heard such nonsense. Will England step aside too? Every team just let Ukraine win the world cup?”

Thomas Cowan asked: “And then if they’re in the World Cup, would it be okay to play and beat them then? Maybe if we just cancelled all sporting events and announced Ukraine as the winner, all their problems would be solved.”

Ukraine have appeared in the finals of the FIFA World Cup on one occasion in 2006 where they reached the quarter finals. Wales most recently reached the World Cup in 1958, also reaching the quarter finals.


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tired of this
tired of this
1 month ago

Well, that’s amazing, Telegraph says something demeaning or dismissive of Wales and Scotland. But look, here’s the only appropriate response – “..one Ukrainian fan, ????, saying: “Absolute nonsense. We want to be at the World Cup, but by merit, not out of pity.” “. Exactly. On the other hand, the England team usually gets to the finals – and does very little with the opportunity – so why don’t they do the decent thing and step aside, rather than demanding another country make a sacrifice? Or does England feel in dire need of a morale-booster?

Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  tired of this

with BoJo the clown as their leader I think you’ve nailed the “in dire need of a moral boost” for England bit.

Androw Bennett
Androw Bennett
1 month ago
Reply to  tired of this

A above

Last edited 1 month ago by Androw Bennett
Androw Bennett
Androw Bennett
1 month ago

Perhaps Jim White would like to give his job on the Torygraph to a displaced Ukrainian sports journalis? She or he would have far more understanding and empathy with supporters’ feelings. Also, perhaps Johnson would like to give up his seat in Wastemonster to Volodomyr Zelensky, a person who would do a better job in his sleep of running England than the clown who claims to be doing so now?

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

Telegraph columnist Jim White is obviously very poorly informed when it comes to Wales’ record in major finals. Wales have never failed to get out of their group in any major finals they’ve appeared in – 1958, 2016 and 2020. Indeed at the 2016 finals in France they actually finished ahead of England at the group stage 😉

Gareth W
Gareth W
1 month ago

England should give up their place in that case, rather than asking Wales or Scotland to do it

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
1 month ago

Could somebody please enlighten me as to why, when I read something in the Torygraph, I just hate the country it seeks to represent? I don’t hate England. I don’t hate Russia. In fact, I know both of them well, and appreciate their strengths (and recognise their weaknesses). I have friends in both countries and appreciate their daily struggles. I am a citizen of a small country on the edge of Europe. I have had the opportunity in life to travel over much of the continent, much of the globe, and have met only friendship from the people there. In… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Imagine if Ukraine knock Scotland out and then knock Wales out to qualify, these journalists will have the great gift of doing what we’ll all do in congratulating them and wishing them well given the awful events in their country but WE will stop there. THEY, however, will go on to laugh, sneer, beat up Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford, call us nasty little nationalists in the image of themselves and continue to deny the existence of our nations. Who said politics and sport don’t mix?

Glen
Glen
1 month ago

Why bother with the competition at all, just hand Ukraine the trophy now.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

It’s typical of this arrogant English Telegraph clot to suggest such a ludicrous idea. As others have said. No mention of England falling on its sword by gifting Ukraine a place? Only Wales & Scotland.

Also, notice how Windbag White uses emotive language as a form of blackmail to shame Wales & Scotland into complying. Shameful. Bit of advice Mr White. Either say something positive or shut your cakehole you pitiful creature.

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

As the Ukrainian FA has stated, it doesn’t want pity it wants to get there by merit. If Cymru does play the Ukraine it should play its best game and let the best team win.

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
1 month ago

I agree it would be a great gesture of support to the People of Ukraine to give them a bye to the finals however it is not beoynd FIFAs remit to accomodate an extra team so Wales v Scotland would be a final qualifier for the other place. No need for any team to stand aside. However over recent times Russia has bribed FIFA who are as corrupt of Putin and co so do not hold your breath.

Jovan
Jovan
1 month ago

I remember in 1999 you all stand by Serbian people when your country with other 18 counties bomb Serbia. Back then you didnt remove england teams from all competition. Shame on you

Umpahpah
Umpahpah
1 month ago

Yemen as well?

Jovan
Jovan
1 month ago

I agree with columnist. Add to that list Yemen,Syria and Palestina ( Americas war flame) and the justice is served. YOU british are full of sh..

Johnny English
Johnny English
1 month ago

They should stand aside. The politicians in the socialist republics of Scotland and Wales constantly bleat about doing more for Ukranian refugees than England. They are the teams due to play Ukraine, its not for any other nation to stand aside. Besides for football fans we don’t have to suffer the sh×t that ie Welsh and Scottish football

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