Scotland v Ukraine World Cup 2022 play off news: What FIFA have said amid postponement request

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What is the latest on the Scotland v Ukraine World Cup 2022 play-off?

FIFA have confirmed the Ukraine FA has requested the postponement of their World Cup qualifying play-off against Scotland.

With many of their national team players currently in their home country and domestic football suspended as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, doubt has been cast over the Hampden Park fixture.

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When was the fixture set to take place?

The Ukraine were scheduled to visit Hampden Park to take on Steve Clarke’s side on Thursday 24th March in the first part of the World Cup 2022 qualification play-offs.

The winner of the tie will face either Wales or Austria for a place at the World Cup Finals, which is set to take place in Qatar during November and December.

However, both the meeting in Scotland and the tie against either Wales or Austria has been thrown into doubt by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

What have the Scottish FA said about the situation?

A statement released last week said: “The Scottish FA President, Rod Petrie, has written to his counterpart at the Ukrainian Association of Football to send a message of support, friendship and unity.

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“Football is inconsequential amid conflict, but we have conveyed the strong sense of solidarity communicated to us by Scotland fans and citizens in recent days.

“The Scotland Men’s and Women’s National Teams stand in solidarity with our fellow participants from Ukraine’s football community.

“A match, no matter how significant on the pitch, feels unimportant right now, but we intend to express our friendship and unity when we face each other next month.

“In the meantime we pray for your well-being and the safety of all those people needlessly suffering. Until we meet, we send our love.”

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What have FIFA said in response to the request?

A FIFA spokesman said: “FIFA can confirm it has received a request from the Ukrainian Association of Football to postpone their matches scheduled for March.

“FIFA remains in regular contact with UEFA and the Scottish Football Association to find an appropriate solution.

“FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to everybody affected by what is happening in Ukraine. A further update will be provided in due course.”

What other key dates lie ahead?

Given the severity of the situation, where football pales into insignificance, it seems highly unlikely the date of the World Cup Finals group stage draw or any other upcoming fixtures will hold any sway on FIFA’s eventual decision over the play-off.

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However, the draw is set to take place on 1st April and Scotland and Ukraine are also scheduled to meet in a Nations League fixture in June.

It has been suggested that the Nations League fixtures could be moved to later in the year and used in place of pre-World Cup friendlies.

That would free up the June date to be used for the World Cup play-off meeting between the two countries - although that would depend on how the crisis in Ukraine develops.

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