Wales’ World Cup play-off semi-final against Austria WILL go ahead this month – but they will then potentially have to wait months for a qualifying decider after Scotland vs Ukraine was put on hold due to Russian war
- Wales’ World Cup play-off semi-final tie against Austria will be held on March 24
- FIFA have previously said the game would not be moved to limit any disruption
- Scotland’s match-up with Ukraine was postponed after Russia’s invasion began
- Robert Page’s side are now facing waiting months for the decider after the move
Wales’ World Cup play-off semi-final tie against Austria will go ahead this month as planned, despite the postponement of Scotland’s match-up with Ukraine after Russia launched its bloody invasion a fortnight ago.
FIFA accepted a request from Ukraine to move their scheduled game in Glasgow, but the governing body have said that Wales’ own clash will still be held on March 24. Previously, they explained it would not be pushed back to limit disruption.
‘The FAW supports FIFA’s decision in this matter and stands in solidarity with Ukraine and reiterates its condemnation for the use of force and the atrocities being committed by Russia,’ a statement from the Football Association of Wales said.
If the game had been postponed, it may have been pencilled in for the international window in June – which FIFA describe as being ‘already congested’.
However, with Wales’ game staying put, manager Robert Page would be forced to wait several months before knowing who they will face next in their attempt to secure a spot in Qatar later this year, provided they beat Austria.
Wales’ World Cup play-off semi-final tie against Austria will go ahead as planned this month
It is believed that talks are already underway to work out a new date for Scotland and Ukraine to play each other, with a period in June identified as the ‘likely’ option.
As it stands, Nations League games will also take place around the same time.
The play-off final may then be held shortly after, although Wales would need to find room in their packed schedule with several matches already in place.
Robert Page’s side face waiting several months for the decider with Ukraine’s game postponed
A FIFA statement said: ‘Alternative fixtures for teams in the March window are being explored by the relevant parties.
‘Similarly, the details of rescheduled fixtures will be announced in due course and the international match calendar window of June will be adapted as necessary for the teams concerned once these details have been finalised.’
FAW chief executive Noel Mooney last week said that the organisation would do their utmost to show their support for Ukraine, with Russia’s aggression continuing.
‘We are a football family at the Football Association of Wales. We love football but we’re also socially conscious as well,’ he said.
Ukraine lodged a request to push back their Scotland match after their country was invaded
‘Like anybody else we’re appalled and disgusted by what’s happening right now with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.’
The request from the Ukrainian football authorities to postpone their game at Hampden Park, meanwhile, was officially lodged last week.
The winners of the tie were set to meet Wales or Austria in the final on March 29.
FIFA also said that Poland, who were due to play Russia, would receive a bye to their play-off final against Sweden or the Czech Republic.