Scotland's play-off final free-to-air say Sky - if Steve Clarke's side can win World Cup play-off against Ukraine

Scotland fans have scored a World Cup win already – and need the national team to do the same against Ukraine to benefit.

Broadcasters Sky, who own the rights to the World Cup play-off matches involving Steve Clarke’s team, say they will make any crunch match against Wales of Austria free to air, if qualification for Qatar 2022 is on the line.

Usually, only subscribers to Sky Sports have access to watch or stream the matches with highlights later shown on terrestrial TV like BBC One or BBC Scotland. However Sky successfully showed Scotland’s dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Serbia on one of its’ free-to-air channels and the nation tuned in to celebrate as the team earned a place at Euro 2020.

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Future crunch matches will be considered in a similar vein, the company’s director of policy Ali Law, told the Scottish Affairs Committee, if treated as a “moment of national importance”.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke's side will be on TV to a wider audience if they can win against Ukraine - and an even larger one should they qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. (Picture: SNS)

First though, Scotland would have to earn a win over Ukraine in the semi-final which has been postponed from this month due to the conflict and invasion by Russia. Steve Clarke’s side would then face either Austria or Wales for a place at the World Cup Finals in November and if the big match involves Scotland it would be shown to an audience beyond the Sky Sports subscriber base, Law has confirmed to MPs.

“We have a responsibility to the Sky Sports subscribers that pay their money and subscribe to not erode the exclusivity of that significantly,” he told the Westminster committee.

“Nevertheless, we’ve shown on a number of occasions now that if you reach that moment of decisive national importance we make games available on a much wider basis and we’re happy to do it again.

“Any sporting event that a huge number of people have an interest in can fit that description. But if you look at the examples that we that we’ve used previously, it has always been those one offs.

“It has to be a do or die moment. The same thing will be the case should Scotland get to the World Cup qualifying final.”

Scotland’s match with Ukraine has been delayed until the summer but Steve Clarke will learn his prospective opponents later this month when Wales and Austria contest their semi-final.

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