Scotland to play Poland at Hampden as play-off preparation

The friendly has been arranged to replace the World Cup play-off against Ukraine next week.

Scotland to play Poland at Hampden as play-off preparation SNS Group

Scotland are to play Poland at Hampden next week in a friendly arranged to replace the World Cup play-off semi-final.

Steve Clarke’s side were due to face Ukraine in the highly-anticipated play-off game on March 24 but the match was rescheduled for June after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

World football governing body FIFA also cancelled Poland’s semi-final game against Russia, handing Czeslaw Michniewicz’s side a bye to the final. They’ll now travel to Scotland to play next Thursday in a match that will be a fundraiser to help aid UNICEF’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

The Scottish FA has announced that £10 from every ticket will be donated to UNICEF UK’s emergency appeal and that a sell-out crowd would generate a “significant” six-figure sum for the charity.

Scotland captain Andy Robertson: “As a father, the images of children in Ukraine has been heart-breaking to watch. I am a proud ambassador for UNICEF and when we were informed that the match against Ukraine would be postponed then working in partnership with Robert 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.”

Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell added: “It goes without saying that our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. All football-related matters pale into insignificance next to what the people of that country are experiencing.

“Along with the counterparts at the Polish FA, we hope to use this friendly international as our chance to show solidarity with a country and its people, while raising as much money to help them as we can in the process.” 

Scotland Clarke: “We’ve seen wonderful examples of individuals and groups within Scottish football rally with their own contributions towards the situation in recent weeks. With the support of UNICEF, this match is a way for all Scottish football fans to unite in solidarity and support our friends in Ukraine.

“As many have already said, football is unimportant when you see the situation in Ukraine. I know that the Scotland supporters and the players will rally to show that the power of football can have a positive impact even during such desperate situations as the one faced in Ukraine at present.” 

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive at The UK Committee for UNICEF: “The escalating conflict in Ukraine continues to pose an immediate threat to the lives and wellbeing of the country’s 7.5 million children. The situation is deteriorating, with more families every day forced to leave their homes in search of safety. That is why we are intensifying our action on the ground.

“Being involved in this fundraising friendly allows us to continue our aid for those that need it most. In practical terms this means providing children and their families with access to clean water and nutritious food and making sure that child health and protection services are sustained”

The match will serve as a warm-up for Poland’s play-off final against Sweden or Czech Republic four days later.

Scotland have already confirmed that they will play a friendly away from home against Wales or Austria on March 29. 

Poland are currently ranked 28th in the world and boast a number of high-profile players in their side, including Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Fiorentina’s Krzystof Piatek.

Clarke will name his squad for the friendlies on Tuesday afternoon.

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