Ukraine have requested a postponement of their World Cup qualifying play-off semi-final against Scotland following Russia’s invasion of the country.
The two nations were due to meet in Glasgow on 24 March, with the winner advancing to play either Wales or Austria for a place at the World Cup in Qatar which starts in November.
But football has been suspended in Ukraine, where the majority of their nation’s international squad play their club football and it is now expected that Fifa will grant the request for the play-off at Hampden Park to be called off.
“Fifa can confirm it has received a request from the Ukrainian Association of Football today to postpone their matches scheduled for March,” said a statement. “Fifa remains in regular contact with Uefa and the Scottish Football Association to find an appropriate solution. Fifa expresses its deepest solidarity to everybody affected by what is happening in Ukraine. A further update will be provided in due course.”
The Scottish Football Association wrote to its Ukrainian counterpart this week offering support and is willing to accommodate any arrangement that would allow the match to take place.
After Russia’s ban from international football was enforced on Monday, it is expected Poland will progress to play Sweden or the Czech Republic on 29 March. The Guardian understands that no alternative mechanism, such as drafting in Hungary or Finland, who narrowly missed out on qualification for the play-offs, is being considered.
Poland took a public stand against Fifa when they called for Russia, their play-off semi-final opponents, to be banned. They were yet to receive direct communication from the governing body on Tuesday.