Scotland have the unenviable honor of a World Cup playoff with Ukraine | Football

MORE THAN A GAME

At 5pm (BST) today, around the time your daily dose of Fiver Towers football gossip slips into tens of thousands of spam folders around the world, it will be 173 days and 18 hours until the Cup kicks off. World Human Rights. in the hotbed of international football that is Qatar. The Fiver is counting down the seconds, looking longingly at the official countdown clock on the FIFA website, powered by Hublot, Official Timekeeper of the FIFA World Cup™.

With his extremely sympathetic fans, invariably a huge credit to the few international tournaments his side have qualified for in recent decades, few would normally envy Scotland a place in this year’s final. This year, however, the Scots face the daunting prospect of meeting Ukraine in their playoff semi-final tomorrow night.

Hosting the national team of a country currently under illegal invasion by Russia, in the first competitive match they have been able to play since the declaration of war, is an honor for Scotland. Not least because it allows a nation that has historically been bullied by a tyrannical neighbor to show support for its Ukrainian visitors on a global stage. It’s also a bit unenviable, as some will consider the Scots’ victory the equivalent of kicking a blind man’s cane or shooting Bambi’s mother.

“We have the utmost respect for his situation, but on Wednesday night for 90 minutes or even more, 120, we will give everything to win that game and that’s all that matters,” said Scotland midfielder John McGinn, whose official is unknown. the timekeeper. “I don’t think you can get away from how horrible the situation is and our condolences go out to the players, staff and everyone involved, but it’s important for us not to get caught up in the emotion of it all. We are there to win a football match and try to make our dreams come true”.

With a winner-takes-all tie against Wales on the line for whoever emerges victorious from Hampden Park on Wednesday night, it is important to note that Ukraine coach Oleksandr Petrakov and his proud players neither want nor expect a special treatment from Scotland. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Petrakov and his wife refused to flee the besieged capital city of Kyiv. The 64-year-old even tried to enlist in his country’s territorial defense forces, but was rejected. He and his players have spent the last few weeks training in Slovenia but he arrives in Scotland desperately short of good practice matches, despite practice matches against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Empoli and Croatian side Rijeka.

“We want everyone in Europe to know that we want to be part of the EU family,” Petrakov said. “Ukraine is Europe.” In March, Petrakov tearfully paid tribute to his compatriots fighting illegal invaders from Russia, saying: “I am the coach of the national soccer team and I want to kneel in front of you and thank all our players. May God protect them and glory to Ukraine.” While it’s not ‘lads, it’s Tottenham’, one suspects it’s neat team talk.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“He seemed oblivious. He told me: ‘We’ve only had three months to organize this, we’ve killed ourselves to get this game out’. I replied: ‘I’m more concerned that people outside are not killed.’ He indicated that he was being disrespectful.” Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region and Hillsborough Survivor, tells Andy Hunter about his meeting with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin inside the Stade de France on Saturday as chaotic scenes unfolded outside.

RECOMMENDED LOOK

David Squires takes a wistful look at a night of true Grand Cup romance in Paris, with special guests like Camila Cabello, Gérald Darmanin and Carlo Ancelotti’s eyebrow.

wow!  Clout!  Etc!
wow! Clout! Etc! Illustration: David Squires/The Guardian

FIVE LETTERS

“The Beautiful South not only predicted three of this year’s European finalists in Rotterdam (Monday letters), in Pretenders to the Throne they mention both madrid and paris [and Hull – Fiver 90s Indie Muso Ed] suggesting that they had begun to predict not only the future winners of the Grand Cup, but also the setting of their triumphs. Although his last single was called Manchester, which suggests that his fortune-telling skills ran out around the same time as the hits” – Tim Woods.

“It’s good to see that the one thing PSG have learned from this recent period of spending large sums of Qatari money to desperately chase the Grand Cup is that they must give your star players more power” – Noble Francis.

“Re: KdB moaning (monday fiver). You’ve been retired a long time, son” – Jim Gregory.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our no prize letter of the day is… Tim Woods.

RECOMMENDED LISTENING

Get your ears around the latest Weekly Soccer. And while we’re at it, Max, Barry and the capsule squad are back on tour. Tickets for the June and July live shows are available here.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

Craig Farrell, the former England youth striker who played for Carlisle and York, among others, has died at the age of 39. “I am so sorry to hear this news, Craig was such a nice young man,” Carlisle President Andrew Jenkins said. “Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this sad time.”

Bad news for the PR team at the Human Rights World Cup: a Carbon Market Watch report has cast serious doubt on Qatar 2022 “carbon neutrality” claims.

Liverpool has demanded an apology from Gérald Darmanin, the French interior minister, to duplicate about blaming counterfeit tickets for the Paris Grand Cup debacle.

Croatian winger Ivan Perisic has been reunion with Antonio Conte after joining Tottenham on a two-year deal. And the revolving door of the San Siro could keep turning, with Romelu Lukaku is still very interested on a return to Inter.

Like an overly ambitious couple at Grand Designs, Manchester United are going ahead with their rebuild. Previous academy coach Andy O’Boyle has been hired as the new assistant manager of football, it says here.

Great job by the brainiacs on the Uefa Technical Observer Panel, who went through the footage, analyzed the numbers and decided that Karim Benzema he was the best player in the Big Cup this season.

Frank Lampard’s Everton manager Frank Lampard has been fined £30,000 after get the ump right with referee Stuart Attwell about a penalty decision at Anfield.

Mick Beale may sound like a newcomer to Albert Square, but he’s actually heading west: QPR wants to name Aston Villa’s assistant as your new manager.

Mick Beale seems ready to make W12 his new mansion.
Mick Beale seems ready to make W12 his new mansion. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

And Ste Howson, a prominent podcaster who was featured in Rio Ferdinand’s “digital lifestyle magazine” FIVE, apologized for claiming Ed Woodward’s tenure was “Worse for Manchester United” than the Munich tragedy. “I definitely should have worded this better and apologize for any offense it has caused,” Howson tweeted.

STILL WANT MORE?

Given how much it makes him nervous when he’s not included in the rosters, we can only hope that Thibaut Courtois is pleased with The Ben McAleer Offer in his brilliance in the Grand Cup.

Ben Fisher has the inside track on how Steve Cooper managed to transform Nottingham Forest from Championship hopeless into playoff winners.

Adam White takes a look at limit totalitarian power now in the possession of Kylian Mbappé at PSG.

And if it’s your thing… you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. Y INSTACHAT ALSO!

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