World Cup play-off final to be free to view in UK

A decisive World Cup qualifier that could pit Scotland against Wales will be free to view in the UK.

The World Cup play-off final is due to take place on June 5, with Wales having already booked their place in the clash.

Scotland will advance if they beat Ukraine at Hampden on Wednesday, which would put both of the UK nations one win away from the tournament in Qatar later this year.

As well as being shown live on Sky Sports, regional broadcasters STV and S4C will show the game in Scotland and Wales respectively, while ITV will show it in England..

The Ukraine clash will not be broadcast for free.

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Sky Sports managing director Jonathan Licht said: “Next Sunday’s game is a huge fixture for Wales and Scotland supporters, and for football fans throughout the UK and Ireland.

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“We are thrilled to make a game of such national sporting significance available to the widest possible audience, thanks to our partnership with ITV, S4C and STV.”

Speaking to the Scottish Affairs Committee last year, STV chief executive Simon Pitts said the channel was pursuing deals with sports channels to broadcast crunch ties simultaneously.

Responding to Friday’s announcement, the channel’s managing director Bobby Hain said: “After initiating discussions with Sky Sports and working closely with them to secure an agreement, we’re delighted that this potentially historic moment in Scottish international football will be available for everyone to watch for free on STV.

“There is of course a decisive fixture to come before then, but regardless of the result, it’s hugely exciting to have international football returning to STV next Sunday.”

S4C chief executive Sian Doyle said: “The play-off final is one of the biggest games in the recent history of the Welsh football team and one the whole nation will be watching with tremendous excitement.

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“S4C is here to provide a service to the people of Wales and we are proud to be a part of the Red Wall.

“We will be turning our channel red to show our support for the team and we will be behind them all the way. We hope Wales supporters will join us and enjoy our coverage. Yma o Hyd.”

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