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Scottish FA offers support to Ukraine team and rules out playing Russia

Scotland will not send a team to play Russia in an amateur tournament 'should current circumstances continue'.

Scottish FA offers support to Ukraine team ahead of World Cup play-off SNS Group

The Scottish FA have offered Ukraine support ahead of the World Cup play-off semi-final next month and said they will not play Russia at any level of the game under the current circumstances.

The nations are due to meet at Hampden on March 24, with the winner playing Austria or Wales for a place at Qatar 2022.  The countries are also due to meet in a women’s World Cup qualifier on April 8.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the SFA have said that they will help their opponents to prepare for the games and stand in solidarity with the nation.

The organisation also stated that it will not send an amateur team to compete with Russia in a tournament later this year “if current circumstances continue” and that the same stance will apply at any other level of the game.

A statement from the governing body read: “The Scottish FA President, Rod Petrie, has written to his counterpart at the Ukrainian Association of Football to send a message of support, friendship and unity.

“Football is inconsequential amid conflict, but we have conveyed the strong sense of solidarity communicated to us by Scotland fans and citizens in recent days.

“We remain in dialogue with UEFA and FIFA regarding our men’s FIFA World Cup Play-off and women’s World Cup qualifier and have offered to support our Ukrainian colleagues’ preparations as best we can in these unimaginably difficult circumstances.

“Should the current circumstances continue, we will not sanction the nomination of a team to participate in our scheduled UEFA Regions Cup fixture against Russia, due to be played in August. 

“This will remain our position should any other fixtures arise at any level of international football.”

UEFA have already stripped Russia of the Champions League final, moving the event from St Petersburg to Paris, while Poland have said that they will not play the nation in their own World Cup play-off. Potential play-off finalists Sweden and Czech Republic have adopted the same stance.

FIFA said in a statement on Sunday: “FIFA would like to reiterate its condemnation of the use of force by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

“Violence is never a solution and FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to all people affected by what is happening in Ukraine.

“FIFA will continue its ongoing dialogue with the International Olympic Committee, UEFA and other sport organisations to determine any additional measures or sanctions, including a potential exclusion from competitions, that shall be applied in the near future should the situation not be improving rapidly.

“FIFA’s thoughts remain with everybody affected by this shocking and worrying situation.”