Scotland-Ukraine set for June 1 | Winner plays Wales on June 5 for WC place
Scotland’s delayed World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine has been rearranged for Wednesday June 1, and the winner will face Wales on Sunday June 5, with both matches live on Sky Sports.
The fixture was due to take place at Hampden Park on March 24 but was postponed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The winner of that tie was due to face Wales, who beat Austria 2-1 in their semi-final, but that was also delayed.
The fixture on June 1 will take place at Hampden Park, while the Wales’ World Cup play-off final will be held at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Following the postponements, Scotland pledged to play the loser of the Wales-Austria game in a friendly on March 29. Steve Clarke’s side drew 2-2 in Vienna.
Russia were due to take part in the World Cup play-offs but were thrown out of the tournament as a sanction for its actions in Ukraine.
That handed Poland a bye into the path B final, in which they saw off Sweden to secure their place in the World Cup in Qatar this winter.
‘Still huge concern fixture won’t happen’
Sky Sports senior reporter Rob Dorsett:
“It’s pretty extraordinary the circumstances of the rescheduling of this match when you consider all that Ukraine is dealing with right now, with its very sovereignty and security of the nation being tested to the extreme and people dying in the country on a daily basis. Emotionally it must be very difficult for these footballers, but practically as well it’s fraught with difficulty.
“Ukraine passed a martial law which said all men aged between 18 and 60 could not leave the country and had to stay to be part of the military effort.
“Special permission has been given to Ukraine’s footballers so they can leave and play these matches, and they are actually trying to organise a training camp and friendlies – against France and North Macedonia – to prepare for this game.
“There is huge hope this game can go ahead but behind the scenes there is huge concern that with all the difficulties that everybody is dealing with in Ukraine, it might not happen. An awful lot could happen…between now and June 1. There are still doubts whether this could go ahead.
“All domestic football in Ukraine has been suspended. Nine members of the Ukraine squad play for Dynamo Kyiv, who haven’t played since the middle of December. What sort of state are they going to be in to play this match?”
Nations League fixtures impacted
The schedule of the UEFA Nations League groups A4 and B1, which include the three teams involved in the play-off path: Scotland, Ukraine and Wales, has been rearranged as a result.
- A4 – Poland vs Wales
- B1 – Armenia vs Republic of Ireland
- A4 – Belgium vs Poland
- A4 – Wales vs Netherlands
- B1 – Scotland vs Armenia
- B1 – Republic of Ireland vs Ukraine
- A4 – Netherlands vs Poland
- A4 – Wales vs Belgium
- A4 – Netherlands vs Wales
- A4 – Poland vs Belgium
- B1 – Scotland vs Ukraine
- B1 – Scotland vs Republic of Ireland
- B1 – Armenia vs Ukraine
- B1 – Republic of Ireland vs Armenia
- B1 – Ukraine vs Scotland