Ukraine resumes World Cup qualification with June 1 playoff

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ZURICH (AP) – Ukraine’s bid to qualify for the Word Cup will resume on June 1 against Scotland after its playoff semifinal in Glasgow was postponed in March due to the country being invaded by Russia.

FIFA on Thursday also said the delayed playoff final in that bracket against Wales in Cardiff will be on June 5 to determine the final European team to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

The playoff winner will go into a group at the World Cup in November with England, the United States and Iran.

“FIFA would like to thank all of the parties involved for the strong spirit of solidarity and cooperation that has led to this unanimous decision,” world football’s governing body said in a statement.

Most of the Ukraine squad is typically drawn from domestic clubs Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk. They were unable to resume games on Feb. 26 after a midwinter break and most of their players from other countries left Ukraine to escape the war. The clubs have been playing friendly matches in Europe this week.

The rescheduled playoff games will mean the dates of planned UEFA Nations League games will also move.