Celtic to learn Scottish Cup opponents this month before joining Rangers in April entry as key dates revealed

The Scottish Cup will resume on March 23, the Scottish Football Association has confirmed, with second round ties to be played more than a week after the quarter finals had originally been ear-marked.

Scottish Cup trophy. SFA Scottish Cup trophy. Picture Michael Gillen.

Three rounds will also be squeezed into April as competition organisers bid to complete the tournament with the final on May 22 – delayed by a fortnight from original schedules but before Hampden is handed over for Euro 2020.

Second round ties, including Hearts’ long trip north to Brora Rangers, will now be played on Tuesday, March 23 which means a quick turnaround for teams in the Highland League, plus Leagues One and Two who have been idle since the suspension was introduced in January.

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Celtic who enter the competition at the third round phase scheduled for April 3 will learn their opponents when Arbroath host Falkirk at Gayfield. Old Firm rivals Rangers also enter the competition at the same stage but can already make plans for the visit of their League One namesakes Cove.

The Scottish Cup final will be played on May 22.

In total 12 second round matches have still to be completed with just five games in the third round – including the Rangers’ tie and Hibs’ trip to Queen of the South – confirmed and not awaiting any March 23 outcome.

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive said: “The Scottish Cup is our flagship competition and we are pleased that the temporary suspension of the lower leagues has now been lifted to allow the matches to resume.

“With the green shoots of hope emerging with the continuing successful rollout of the vaccination programme and the announcement of restrictions easing in the future, the news that the Scottish Cup Final will be played in May at Hampden Park will hopefully come as a further boost to Scottish football fans this week.

“The remaining rounds will be played in quick succession and with the fixtures coming thick and fast as the domestic season comes to a conclusion, the showpiece Scottish Cup Final will once again provide an exciting finale for the Scottish football season.”

Scottish Cup trophy. SFA Scottish Cup trophy. Picture Michael Gillen.

The competition will also see the introduction of two concussion substitutes on a trial basis, following approval by the Scottish FA Board and confirmation by the International Football Association Board.

Scottish Cup 2020/21 Fixture Dates (revised)Second Round: Tuesday, 23 MarchThird Round: Saturday, 3 AprilFourth Round: Saturday, 17 AprilFifth Round: Saturday, 24 AprilSemi-Finals: Saturday, 8 & Sunday, 9 MayFinal: Saturday, 22 May

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