Ukraine asks FIFA to postpone World Cup game after war in Russia
Ukraine have officially asked FIFA to postpone their World Cup playoff semifinal match against Scotland later this month after Russia invaded the country, according to ESPN.
The Football Union of Ukraine submitted a formal request to postpone the March 24 semifinals to a later date. Ukraine qualified for the play-offs after finishing second in their group behind France in UEFA qualifying. The winner of their game against Scotland will then face either Wales or Austria for a chance to take part in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
According to ESPN, FIFA is “in regular contact with UEFA and the Scottish Football Association to find an appropriate solution”.
It’s unclear when the game will be rescheduled, although it could reportedly be played in Qatar in June. The World Cup is scheduled to start on November 21st.
At least 15 members of Ukraine’s national team also play in club sides in the country, according to the report – despite the league being suspended last month. Almost all Ukrainian players have remained in the country since Russia invaded, according to ESPN. It’s unclear if they’re fighting in the conflict, but the government has demanded that all Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 stay in the country to help.
The football world has imposed numerous sanctions on Russia since the war began last month. Both FIFA and UEFA have banned the Russian national team from international competitions, including the World Cup, and UEFA moved the Champions League final from Russia. Electronic Arts also removed all Russian teams from the FIFA video game.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has announced he will sell the club after the invasion. The Russian oligarch has owned the club since 2003 and said he would donate the net proceeds from sales to help those in need in Ukraine.