By Gareth James
Wales’ road to the World Cup finals in Qatar looks certain to be delayed by the continuing war in Ukraine.
Robert Page’s side was due to face the winners of the Scotland v Ukraine play-off on March 29 if Wales can overcome Austria five days earlier.
Both matches are scheduled for Cardiff City Stadium, but any potential play-off final for Wales now looks likely to be put back in the calendar after Ukraine requested a postponement of their tie against the Scots.
The two nations were due to meet in Glasgow on 24 March, with the winner advancing to play either Wales or Austria for a place at the World Cup in Qatar which starts in November.
But football has been suspended in Ukraine, where the majority of their nation’s international squad play their club football and it is now expected that FIFA will grant the request for the play-off at Hampden Park to be called off.
Scotland stands with Ukraine🏴🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/dHkwuOqJKL
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) February 24, 2022
“FIFA can confirm it has received a request from the Ukrainian Association of Football today to postpone their matches scheduled for March,” said a statement.
“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.”
The Scottish Football Association wrote to its Ukrainian counterpart this week offering support and is willing to accommodate any arrangement that would allow the match to take place.
After Russia’s ban from international football was enforced on Monday, it is expected Poland will progress to play Sweden or the Czech Republic on 29 March.
It is understood that no alternative mechanism, such as drafting in Hungary or Finland, who narrowly missed out on qualification for the play-offs, is being considered.
Poland took a public stand against FIFA when they called for Russia, their play-off semi-final opponents, to be banned.