What did Graeme Souness say about Scotland v Ukraine to shock the Tartan Army?

Former Scotland captain Graeme Souness has shocked the Tartan Army by revealing he will be supporting Ukraine in Wednesday's World Cup play-off semi-final at Hampden.

It is a match Scotland must win in order to progress to the play-off final against Wales in Cardiff on Sunday and a winner-takes-all showdown for a place in Qatar 2022.

Souness, who was born in Edinburgh, earned 54 caps for Scotland and represented them at three World Cups but the Liverpool and Rangers legend is prepared to put loyalties aside due to the ongoing Russian invasion.

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The 69-year-old, who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports, admitted he would rather see Ukraine go on to win the World Cup to send a message to Russia rather than Scotland qualifying for the tournament for the first time since 1998.

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Souness told The Times: "When I have thought about this game in my quieter moments, I've thought, 'How would I deal with this?'

"Part of me keeps coming back to the fact that it's just a game of football, and do I really want to beat them? Whether it's sport, politics, the arts, whatever it is, we must send a message to Russia that it's not acceptable what they are doing.

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"I'm going to find myself in a really difficult situation. I'll be emotional. I don't just want Ukraine to qualify, I want them to go there (Qatar) and win it.

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Former Scotland captain Graeme Souness has admitted he will be supporting Ukraine's bid to reach the World Cup ahead of the play-off match at Hampden Park. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

"How far do you have to bury your head in the sand not to realise the situation the world's in right now? Will it be when someone presses the button on a nuclear weapon?

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"I'd not want to be one of the Scottish players playing that night. I don't know where my emotions would be. My emotions when I think about it deeply are that it's more important than football to send a message that Russia's behaviour is unacceptable.

"The world has to unite and tell them that — you can hear the emotion in my voice. That's my over-riding feeling on the situation.

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"I'm doing it (working as a pundit) for television and I'm not sure how I'll cope with that. I know the majority of our supporters who go there will feel the same — there you are. It's going to be a really strange night."

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke was asked for his views on Souness comments.

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He replied: "I can't put myself into anyone else's mind, everyone has their opinion on the situation. Every opinion will be different.

"I focus on myself, I want to go to Qatar with Scotland and the players want to go as well so that is what I will focus on."

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Asked if there was any disappointment that an ex-Scotland skipper would think that way, Clarke replied: 'No anyone can have their own opinion."



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