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Scotland to play Poland in friendly after postponement of World Cup qualifying playoffs


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Scotland will play Poland in a friendly on March 24 in place of the postponed World Cup qualification playoff against Ukraine, world soccer’s governing body FIFA said on Monday.

Last week, Ukraine’s Football Association had asked FIFA to postpone the qualifier against Scotland following Russia‘s invasion of their neighbour, a request that was granted, with the match now scheduled to take place in June.

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The winners of that game at Hampden Park in Glasgow will take on Austria or Wales, who still meet in their playoff semifinal next week as planned, for a place in November’s World Cup finals in Qatar.

Russia, who have been suspended from international soccer by UEFA and FIFA, were scheduled to host Poland in a qualifying playoff on March 24, but FIFA granted Poland a bye to the next round, where they will play either Sweden or the Czech Republic for a spot at the World Cup.

To fill the gap in their schedules, Scotland and Poland will instead face each other at Hampden next Thursday in a friendly.

For every ticket sold, 10 pounds ($13.02) will be donated to UNICEF United Kingdom’s emergency appeal for Ukraine, and supporters will have the opportunity to make an additional donation if they wish during the ticket purchase process.

“As a father, the images of children in Ukraine has been heartbreaking to watch,” Scotland captain Andrew Robertson said in a statement.

“When we were informed that the match against Ukraine would be postponed then working in partnership with Robert (Lewandowski) 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.”

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