Fans think there should be no changes to the qualifying process
As part of the global cultural backlash against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Russian national football team has been banned from the 2022 World Cup. The Ukrainian team remains in the competition and is due to play a qualifying match against Scotland on 1 June. The winner of that match will subsequently face the Welsh side, with the victor moving on to the next stage of the tournament.
Some, including prime minister Boris Johnson, have suggested the Ukrainian team could be given an automatic qualification to the competition group stages. However, this would mean Wales and Scotland would lose out on their chance for a spot.
Scottish and Welsh football fans, however, are distinctly unwilling to sacrifice their teams’ chance for glory out of generosity to Ukraine. Just a tiny percentage support the idea: 2% of Welsh fans and 4% of Scottish fans think Ukraine should be given the 'bye' into the next round at the expense of their national teams' chances.
Others have suggested that with a change to the rules an extra place in the competition could be created for Ukraine, leaving Scotland and Wales to duke it out for the last spot. Even when offered this option, only 32% of Welsh and 38% of Scottish fans thinks it is the best solution.
Most refuse to give Ukraine any special treatment at all. Three in five football fans in Wales (61%) and half of those in Scotland (52%) think the remaining qualification games should continue as usual, without special considerations for Ukraine.