FIFA has confirmed that Russia has been removed from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. With the decision being made after the ongoing war in Ukraine. Poland will win a bye in the play-off Path B, scheduled for March 29.
Poland was originally scheduled to face Russia in the play-off round. But after the invasion of Ukraine, the Polish Football Association and its players made clear that they did not want to face Russia. Poland will have a bye against Sweden or the Czech Republic in the final.
A statement from FIFA said: “Following the decision of February 28, 2022, together with the UEFA Executive Committee. This was to suspend all Russian teams from participating in both FIFA and UEFA competitions. Thus until further announcements are made. The FIFA Organizing Committee decided that Poland would have won a bye in Path B’s play-off round that takes place on 29 March 2022. They will face the winners of the Swedish vs Czech Republic match.
FIFA also confirmed that the playoffs between Ukraine and Scotland had been postponed. This is expected to be postponed to kick off in June. Meanwhile, the play-off round in the face-to-face encounter between Wales and Austria will continue as planned.
Support the Decision
The Scottish Football Association said they “Support the decision on the request to postpone the competition. which reinforces our message of solidarity to our colleagues within the Ukrainian Football Association.”
The senior executive of the Scottish Football Association, Ian Maxwell, commented. “The importance of football was greatly reduced during the war. And we are concerned for Ukrainian civilians affected by the conflict.”
Former Scotland assistant manager Mark McGee also agreed with the decision to postpone the play-off round. by commenting that “I think it was the right decision. We have to respect what happened there. and the impact on their players.”
“Ukraine deserves equal opportunity. Perhaps more in such a situation, and at the moment, it will be a huge request for their players to play at that level. Even the gathering at this time was too few. It’s not fair,” said the Dundee boss, who has four caps for the national team.