Wales’ World Cup play offs likely to be moved as Scotland v Ukraine ‘postponed to June’
Wales’ World Cup playoff matches, set to take place at the end of this month, are in doubt as Scotland are now not expected to play Ukraine until the summer.
A source within Ukrainian football has told the Times newspaper that Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has confirmed in private that Scotland’s World Cup play-off with Ukraine will be delayed until June.
Wales are set to play Austria on 24 March with the winner of that match playing either Scotland or Ukraine on March 29. It now looks likely that either the second match or both could be moved until the summer.
Ukraine requested a postponement of their match with Scotland, scheduled to take place at Hampden, after their country was invaded by Russia.
The winners of the final game which was due to be held at the end of March would have secured a place at the World Cup in Qatar.
Shakhtar Donetsk’s director of football Darijo Srna said that he was told the game would be postponed as he liaised with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin in order to ensure safe passage for Ukraine’s players out of the country.
He told the Times: “I spoke with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin again today. He has really stood up for Ukrainian football.
“I understand that no one cares about football now, but he told me that the match between Ukraine and Scotland will be postponed to June. In addition, there will be a special transfer window set up to allow players based in Ukraine a temporary transfer to allow them to get back playing football.
“I contacted him when war broke out to ask for help. He personally helped to organise a train to get the players out of the country.
“He promised he would help the players and he has been as good as his word.”
Football Association of Wales CEO Noel Mooney has previously said that he is expecting a postponement.
Mooney told BBC Wales’ Breakfast programme last week: “We are planning to play against Austria on the 24th of March in Cardiff City stadium.
“I spoke to [Wales manager] Rob Page for example yesterday, we’re all set for that.
“But then the news came through yesterday about Ukraine requesting a postponement of the match to June, so we’ve written to Fifa and to Uefa yesterday and we wrote to the other associations involved to say we should meet as soon as possible, early next week, to discuss how this would work because we’ve got a plethora of Nations League games of course in June.
“I promise you that we’ll make a decision early next week, at the latest I would say, and then fans can look forward to either March or June to play our World Cup play-offs”
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