Emotional Matty Cash proud of Poland’s efforts to support Ukraine as boss backs World Cup bye ahead of Scotland friendly


Poland ace Matty Cash has opened up on his heartache at the awful scenes in Ukraine.

The Aston Villa defender qualifies for Czeslaw Michniewicz’s squad thanks to his Polish mum but his family ties stretch even further east into their war-torn neighbour.

His grandfather Ryszard Tomaszewski was born in 1936 in the city of Stanislawow, which was then part of the second Polish republic but now lies within Ukraine’s borders.

Cash and his side should have been preparing to take on Russia this week in their World Cup play-off semi-final but are now in Glasgow for the friendly clash with Scotland after FIFA handed them a bye in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s vile invasion .

“It’s so sad,” said the Slough-born right-back. “It’s a really sad moment for everyone especially in Ukraine and our thoughts go to everyone affected by it.

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“Hopefully it can stop soon. It’s not a good time so everybody’s thoughts are with them.

“At a time like this it’s a very difficult time. I’m in England but like everybody I see a lot of stuff on the news.

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“For everybody around the world it’s a difficult time. Poland as a country is doing a lot for the people of Ukraine.”

The Poles will get their chance to realize their desert dream on Tuesday when they face the winner of Sweden or Czech Republic in Chorzow in the final of their World Cup play-off.

Scotland, though, will have to wait until June after FIFA postponed their semi-final showdown with the Ukrainians until the summer.

But Poland gaffer Michniewicz has joined calls for Andriy Shevchenko’s men to be handed a ticket straight through to December’s Gulf showpiece.

Michniewicz said: “The situation in Ukraine is extraordinary. No-one could have foreseen what was going to happen.

“But I think we could give them a bye to Ukraine for the World Cup.

“We as their neighbors are trying to help them as much as possible. More than two million people have already fled from Ukraine to Poland and we’re helping them as much as we can.

“If FIFA was to decide to give them qualification for the World Cup that could give them a little bit of pleasure, if such a thing if possible right now for their nation.

“We do obviously understand that war is a terrible thing and we hope it’s going to end soon.”

Michniewicz warned Tartan Army members hoping to catch a glimpse of Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski in action they may be left disappointed.

He said: “We do consider the fans’ wishes and they will see Robert Lewandowski. But will they see him on the pitch or on the bench? Well that’s a different story.

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“We’re going to decide that tomorrow but the fans will definitely see Lewandowski tomorrow, so they can say the money they’ve paid out on tickets was money well spent.

“I know they’re a bit tight-fisted in Scotland.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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