Scotland v Ukraine: World Cup play-off in serious doubt as Russian invasion forces league suspension and airspace closure

Scotland’s upcoming World Cup play-off opponents have been thrown into disarray after Ukraine's domestic football league was suspended following the Russian invasion.

The Ukraine Premier League was set to end its winter break on Friday but will now remain in cold storage after Russia launched a full-scale attack on the country, with explosions heard in the capital Kyiv while blasts were also reported in the cities of Odessa and Kharkiv.

Football in the country stopped on December 13 and will now remain paused for at least a minimum of 30 days, which could have a knock-on affect on Ukraine’s preparations for next month's World Cup qualifier with Scotland at Hampden Park on March 24.

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Most of Ukraine’s international footballers play in their domestic top flight and with the country’s airspace closed following the outbreak of war, it is unclear how the players would travel to Glasgow, placing the fixture in doubt.

The Ukraine national team pictured before the Euro 2020 round of 16 match against Sweden at Hampden on June 29. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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"Due to the imposition of martial law in Ukraine, the championship of Ukraine has been suspended," a statement from the Ukraine Premier League read.

Uefa have called an extraordinary general meeting with Russia set to be stripped of hosting the Champions League final, which is scheduled to take place in the 68,000-capacity Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg on May 28.

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A Uefa statement read: “Following the evolution of the situation between Russia and Ukraine in the last 24 hours, the UEFA President has decided to call an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee for Friday 25 February at 10:00 CET, in order to evaluate the situation and take all necessary decisions.

“Further communication will be made after the meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee.”

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