Scotland and Ukraine World Cup play-off: Two dates proposed for delayed semi-final

Scotland are likely to play their postponed World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine on either Tuesday, May 31 or Wednesday, June 1, according to reports.

Information coming from Ukrainian media sources on Saturday morning suggest that the Ukrainian FA have been asked which of the two dates they would prefer after the original match in March was delayed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

There is also a high chance that the match at Hampden Park will double up as a Nations League fixture as UEFA and FIFA try to juggle a congested summer calendar. This would result in the Scottish FA missing out on sizeable gate receipts.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

The winner of the Scotland v Ukraine would go on to play Wales at Cardiff – a date for that tie is still outstanding – with four Nations League matches already inked in for the start of June.

Scotland are due to face Ukraine in the World Cup play-off semi-finals

While Ukraine’s preparations are in turmoil due to the conflict in their homeland – many of their players are domestic-based and there are attempts to set up a training camp in neighbouring Romania – the dates would cause logistical issues for Scotland manager Steve Clarke. Captain Andy Robertson could be involved in the Champions League final on May 28, while players such as Lyndon Dykes and Scott McKenna may have to play in the Championship play-off final on May 29.

Furthermore, defenders Nathan Patterson and Kieran Tierney are also recovering from injury and are in a race to be fit for the summer, with two months given as their timescales to recover from recent operations.

A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.