Graeme Souness calls for Ukraine to get World Cup place if they lose to Scotland in emotional plea to Fifa

Graeme Souness has called on Fifa to give Ukraine a bye to the World Cup in Qatar regardless of the outcome of the play-off semi-final against Scotland at Hampden.

The former Scotland captain gave an emotional address on Sky Sports ahead of the match where he reiterated his support for Ukraine in their bid to reach the World Cup while the nation battles to withstand the ongoing Russian invasion.

Souness had previously stated that he would be supporting Ukraine against Scotland, but the Rangers and Liverpool legend suggested that he would like to see both nations at the World Cup and urged Fifa to change the structure of the tournament to incorporate an extra team.

He said: “It's the strangest emotion I've ever had about a football match.

Graeme Souness ahead of the Scotland v Ukraine World Cup play-off semi-final at Hampden. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

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"I'm Scottish. I used to captain this football team. Every single game I played in I wanted to win desperately.

“Every single time our rugby team plays I want them to win desperately.

“I really have mixed emotions tonight.

“In my quieter moments I keep coming back to football is so important to all of us, but what's happening in Ukraine right now, it transcends football.

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“It's life and death.

“We're witnessing pictures that I've never seen in my life before. It's only four hours flying time from where we're standing. It's not the other side of the world. That could visit us one day.

“So we have to stand up and support Ukraine. We have to get right behind them as much as we possibly can.

“For me what Fifa should do is say it doesn't matter what happens tonight. This team should be going to the World Cup. Make a group of five somewhere.

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"Ukraine should be going to the World Cup simply to keep Ukraine at the forefront of everyone's mind so that the poeple in Russia realise they are standing alone. They are in the wrong, they have to accept that.”

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