Scottish Cup semi-finals: SFA talks over dates for Hearts v Hibs and Aberdeen v Celtic continue after Premiership fixture release
Last-four ties and final still to be played after shutdown halted Scottish game
The Scottish FA is still locked in talks over rescheduled dates for the two Scottish Cup semi-finals that were put on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Any rearranged fixtures would have to fit in around the Scottish Premiership fixtures, which were released earlier this week, as well as international breaks.
Hearts and Hibs had been due to battle it out at Hampden Park on 11 April, with Aberdeen and Celtic meeting at the national stadium the following day.
However, both fixtures were postponed when the sport entered shutdown in mid-March, and although an agreement was reached to end the league competition, Scottish football’s governing body is eager for the remaining three matches of the prestigious tournament to still be played.
Although the Premiership calendar has now been released, the SFA has still to find a proposed date where the ties would be played.
In May, SFA president Rod Petrie mooted the suggestion of delaying the last-four matches until 2021 to allow the games to be played in front of fans but comments from the Association's chief executive Ian Maxwell hinted at a preference to reschedule the games before the end of the calendar year – with or without fans.
With Scotland on the cusp of entering phase 3 of lockdown easing, it is not unthinkable that fans could be back in stadiums before the end of the calendar year.
The Scottish Rugby Union has already suggested that BT Murrayfield could be a viable alternative venue to host the Edinburgh derby semi-final in a bid to allow greater social distancing.
Hibs head coach Jack Ross yesterday voiced his support for playing the games with supporters in the stadiums, adding: “Both semi-finals are terrific fixtures and would benefit from being played in front of a crowd – of course there’s a lot of buts and maybes involved in that – but I would anticipate it happening before the end of the calendar year.”
Hibs are due to start their Premiership campaign on August 1, while Hearts are not due to be in league action until October unless their appeal against relegation to the Championship is successful.
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