Scotland v Ukraine World Cup play-off postponed

Scotland’s World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine will be delayed until June.

Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 11:31 am

The Scottish Football Association received notification from Fifa that this was the intention last night.

Official confirmation is expected to come within the next 24 hours with Uefa currently tasked with organising a match schedule for the new June dates as well as rearranging the Nations League games due to take place then.

Scotland were already scheduled to meet Ukraine again on 7 June in a Nations League Group B1 game.

Scotland were due to host Ukraine in the Fifa World Cup play-off semi-final at Hampden on March 24. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Two matches against Armenia and one against Republic of Ireland in the same competition had also been confirmed for the first two weeks in June.

The sold-out play-off tie against Ukraine, scheduled for a fortnight on Thursday, was the most imminent and by far the most crucial of Scotland’s upcoming fixtures.

Manager Steve Clarke was due to name his squad at the start of next week.

However, although the last remaining tickets were sold only last Monday, the game has been in doubt since the first Russian tank rolled into Ukraine last month. Whether the clash can go ahead in June must already be viewed as doubtful.

The Ukraine FA requested a postponement last week. Many of their international squad are based in Ukraine, where domestic football has been suspended.

The SFA sent a message of “friendship and unity” to their counterparts in Ukraine last week, offering to support them in their preparations should the tie go ahead as planned.

It’s understood Wales and Austria will also have their play-off semi-final put back to the summer. The winners of that tie play the victors between Scotland and Ukraine.

Noel Mooney, the chief executive of the Welsh FA, last night tweeted a message of thanks to the Welsh fans for their messages concerning the situation.

“We have met with Fifa/Uefa/Austria/Scotland/Ukraine and we are hopeful of updating you in the next day or so on fixtures,” he said. His post included an emoji of the Ukraine flag and the word “solidarity”.

It’s not clear yet whether Scotland will seek to organise a friendly for 24 March instead.

Poland had been suggested as opposition since they were due to meet Russia – whose national team and clubs have since been suspended from all international football competitions - on the same night.