Scotland will play Poland in Ukraine fundraising friendly after World Cup qualifiers postponed

Scotland will play Poland in a friendly next week at Hampden to raise funds for the UNICEF humanitarian response in war-torn Ukraine

Poland's Robert Lewandowski (second from right) celebrates his goal late on against Scotland back in 2015
Poland's Robert Lewandowski (second from right) celebrates his goal late on against Scotland back in 2015

The match was arranged following FIFA’s decision to postpone the FIFA World Cup play-off semi-final against Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict, and the cancellation of Poland’s scheduled tie with Russia.

Both Poland and Scotland had been due to play on Thursday, March 24, but that gap in the international fixture list for both countries has been filled by Poland travelling to Glasgow on that night to take on Steve Clarke’s men.

Tickets for the match will go on sale at 1pm on Tuesday for Scotland Supporters Club members before going on general sale at 1pm on Thursday.

For every ticket sold, £10 will be donated to UNICEF UK’s emergency appeal for Ukraine, and supporters will have the opportunity to make an additional donation if they wish during the ticket purchase process.

The fundraising friendly is being backed by the two countries’ captains in Andy Robertson and Robert Lewandowski, with Robertson saying: “As a father, the images of children in Ukraine has been heart-breaking to watch. I am a proud ambassador for UNICEF and when we were informed that the match against Ukraine would be postponed then working in partnership with Robert and the Polish squad to do our bit to help the situation was a no-brainer.

“We send our love and prayers to our fellow participants across Ukraine’s football community and hope that the money raised by this match will help the tremendous efforts already made by UNICEF in Ukraine and in helping the refugee situation.”

Clarke, who is due to name his squad at lunchtime on Tuesday, said: “We’ve seen wonderful examples of individuals and groups within Scottish football rally with their own contributions towards the situation in recent weeks. With the support of UNICEF, this match is a way for all Scottish football fans to unite in solidarity and support our friends in Ukraine.

“As many have already said, football is unimportant when you see the situation in Ukraine. I know that the Scotland supporters and the players will rally to show that the power of football can have a positive impact even during such desperate situations as the one faced in Ukraine at present.”

Poland will be making their first visit to Hampden since 2015, when they played out a 2-2 draw in a Euro 2016 qualifier. Scotland are on a five-match unbeaten streak against the Poles, with their last loss against them coming in 1980 when they were vanquished 1-0 in a friendly.

Scotland are also expected to play a friendly on Tuesday, March 29, against the losers of the play-off semi-final between Wales and Austria away from home. The winning nation awaits Scotland or Ukraine in the play-off final.

A date has yet to be confirmed for Scotland’s match against Ukraine at Hampden, but it is expected to be played in early June instead of Nations League fixtures. However, the viability of that match will depend on the landscape of the war in Ukraine, with Vladimir Putin’s army continuing to attack its neighbour. Many of the Ukraine squad play domestically, with no men allowed to leave the country right now.

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