Scotland v Ukraine World Cup play-off still on for now after UEFA crisis talks

Scotland’s World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine next month is still on as things stand following crisis talks involving UEFA officials on Friday morning.
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Steve Clarke’s side are due to host Ukraine at Hampden Park on March 24 for a place in the World Cup play-off finals, but the outbreak of war in the country following the Russian invasion has placed the fixture into serious doubt.

The Ukrainian Premier League, where the majority of the national side play, has been suspended for at least 30 days and the closure of airspace in the region will also lead to difficulties for players and officials travelling to Glasgow.

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However, the match is still scheduled to go ahead as planned, for now, after UEFA confirmed that Russian and Ukranian clubs and national teams will continue to play, with their home fixtures being moved to neutral venues.

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

Things could yet change, however, with UEFA intimating that further EGMs will be called to react to the situation as it develops in the coming days and weeks.

Scotland Women had been due to travel to Kyiv to face Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier on April 8 but that fixture will now be moved to a neutral venue.

UEFA has also confirmed that the Champions League final, due to be played in St Petersburg, Russia on May 28 has now been switched to the Stade de France in Paris.

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The governing body’s statement read: “The UEFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting following the grave escalation of the security situation in Europe.

“The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.

“UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic President Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football’s most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis. Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.

“At today’s meeting, the UEFA Executive Committee also decided that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice.

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“The UEFA Executive Committee further determined to remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required, to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary.”

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