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An Emotional Graeme Souness Wants Ukraine At The 2022 World Cup, Even If Scotland Win Playoff

Daniel Marland

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An Emotional Graeme Souness Wants Ukraine At The 2022 World Cup, Even If Scotland Win Playoff

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports

Graeme Souness believes FIFA should allow Ukraine entry into the 2022 World Cup - even if they lose to Scotland in their playoff semi-final.

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Scotland are hoping to reach their first World Cup since 1998, while the Ukraine are looking to add to their sole appearance in 2006.

Ukraine were invaded by neighbouring Russia back in February and the conflict is ongoing.

Former Scotland international Souness spoke about the war prior to kick-off and wants to see Oleksandr Petrakov's side in Qatar - no matter what happens this evening.

He told Sky Sports: "This is the strangest emotion I've ever had about a football match. I'm Scottish, I captained the football team, every game I played in I wanted to win desperately. I really have mixed emotions about tonight.

"In my quieter moments I keep coming back to how important football is to all of us. What is happening in the Ukraine right now transcends football. This is life and death."

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy recently admitted forces in the capital city, Kyiv, are suffering 100 casualties per day.

Around 500 more are injured and Zelenskiy called the situation 'very difficult' in a recent press conference.

Souness would go on to discuss the harrowing images from the frontline and claim they should be represented on a global stage.

The former Liverpool man continued: "We're witnessing pictures I've never seen in my life before. It's only four hours flying time from where we're standing. It's not the opposite side of the world. It could visit us one day.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

"We have to support the Ukraine, get right behind them, football plays such a big part in so many lives.

"For me, what FIFA should do, FIFA should say 'It doesn't matter what happens tonight. This team should be going to the World Cup.'

"Make a group of five somewhere. Ukraine should be going to the World Cup, simply to keep the name of Ukraine at the forefront of everybody's mind."

He added: "We will get immune to the pictures we see on television. It's on a daily basis, we're seeing horror stories I never thought I'd see in my lifetime. We have to make sure the people in the Kremlin understand the world does not accept what they're doing. Football has a part to play because of the profile football has.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

"This team should be going to the World Cup to keep the name of Ukraine right up there in front of everyone's head. So the people of Russia realise they're standing alone, they are in the wrong. They have to accept that."

Whoever wins at Hampden Park will take on Wales in the playoff final on Sunday.

Ukraine go into the break 1-0 up thanks to Andriy Yarmolenko's effort.

Topics: Ukraine, Scotland, Graeme Souness

Daniel Marland
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