When Ukraine's unusual path through World Cup qualifying resumes this week, it serves as a rejection of the idea that sports and politics must not mix.
While Russia was thrown out of qualfying over its war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian national team was given several months extra to prepare for the European playoffs. Now if Ukraine wins two games this week, the team will be at the World Cup in Qatar in November. Ukraine's players have the blessing of President Volodymyr Zelensky to leave their homeland for the game at Scotland on Wednesday.
The winner will face Wales on Sunday in Cardiff to decide which team advances to the World Cup.