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Scotland’s sympathy with Ukraine to stop for 90 minutes – Clarke

Glasgow (AFP) – Scotland manager Steve Clarke reiterated his support to the Ukrainian national team, but he is desperate to deny them a place in the World Cup later this year in Qatar.

Ukraine will play a competitive fixture for the first time since Russia’s invasion of their homeland in a World Cup playoff semi-final against Clarke’s side at Hampden on Wednesday.

The match was originally scheduled to take place in March, weeks after the war began, but was delayed to give Ukraine the chance to fulfil the fixture.

Players contracted to Ukrainian clubs have been able to leave the country to prepare at a training camp in Slovenia in recent weeks.

“The game goes ahead but with the horrific outside influence,” said Clarke at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

“It’s an incredible situation they all find themselves in.

“Nothing but good thoughts and wishes for them, except during the game because obviously they want to go to Qatar and represent their country.

“But I am desperate to go to Qatar with my country.”

Former Scotland skipper Graeme Souness has said even he is supporting Ukraine at Hampden.

But goalkeeper Craig Gordon said the Scotland players have to focus on their chance to reach a first World Cup in 24 years rather than their solidarity with Ukraine.

“It doesn’t change anything from our point of view. It’s still a football match,” said Gordon.

“It’s still 11 versus 11 and no matter what is going on outwith that it’s about us sticking together and putting our gameplan in place.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. MarkB

    May 31, 2022 at 10:46 am

    This is kind of a tough situation for Scotland through no fault of their own. It’s more than likely that the majority of the civilized world will be rooting for Ukraine, while the Scots will be viewed as some sort of buzzkill.

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