Ukraine are set to play France and North Macedonia – their first friendlies since the Russian conflict – to prepare for their delayed World Cup clash against Scotland as UEFA prepare to confirm a new date for the semi-final
- Ukraine are ramping up preparations for their World Cup play-off with Scotland
- The country are lining up friendlies against France and North Macedonia
- It would be their first matches since Russia’s invasion at the start of the year
- UEFA are set to confirm a new date for their game against Scotland in 48 hours
Ukraine are lining up friendly internationals against France and North Macedonia in preparation for a delayed World Cup play-off against Scotland at Hampden on June 1.
UEFA will announce a new date for the postponed play-off semi-final clash in Glasgow over the next 48 hours.
As Sportsmail first revealed, Europe’s governing body plan to ratify a plan for the winners of Scotland – Ukraine to play Wales in Cardiff on Sunday June 5.
And with special permission granted to Ukraine’s footballing elite to leave the country for overseas friendlies, however, First Vice President of the Ukrainian FA Oleg Protasov says the war-torn nation are ramping up preparations for a Hampden semi-final against Scotland four days earlier.
‘Now we are looking for good training camps and sparring partners,’ said Protasov. ‘We really believe that we should not just play, but win the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, and we need to prepare well.
‘Our guys were in good shape and from our side, we need to give them the opportunity to stay in this shape.
Ukraine are lining up friendlies against France and North Macedonia to warm up for Scotland
Their World Cup play-off clash against the Scots had been delayed due to the Russia conflict
‘Now we are in the process of negotiations with some countries for training camps and holding matches with France and North Macedonia, but we will tell you about this a little later,’ he added.
SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell has been in Switzerland holding talks with UEFA over Scotland’s play-off fate.
Wary of captain Andrew Robertson being involved in a Champions League final in Paris on May 28 or Ryan Christie and Scott McKenna playing an English Championship play-off final 24 hours later, the governing body prefer to play the semi-final on June 1 – when Wales are now likely to face Poland in a Nations League game.
Scotland are already scheduled to play Ukraine in a Nations League game in Glasgow on June 7.
Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann (L) could line up against Oleksandr Petrakov (R) and his side – who are preparing for their first friendlies since the invasion
Scotland prefer to play Ukraine on June 1 – wary that captain Andy Robertson could be involved in the Champions League final with Liverpool on May 28
And the SFA hope UEFA will ditch their plan to cut down on fixture congestion by rolling the World Cup play-off semi-final and the Nations League clash into the one game at Hampden.
The loss of a competitive home game against Ukraine at Hampden could cost the SFA £1.5million.
And with UEFA showing no sign of making up the shortfall, the SFA would prefer another game in Glasgow in September.
Scotland, Wales and Ukraine have been drawn in a group for Qatar alongside England, Iran and the United States.