Weather bites as SPL faces fixture backlog

The date of the rescheduled Scottish Premier League match between Dundee United and Rangers will be confirmed today after the fixture was called off yesterday amid heavy snowfall all across Scotland.

The SPL fixture between Motherwell and Hearts was also postponed. Although the Fir Park pitch was deemed playable the roads to an around Motherwell were considered too dangerous by police. It was a different story at Tannadice, where three inches of snow lay on the pitch yesterday morning after heavy overnight snow.

Even Dundee United manager Peter Houston failed to make it for the 8am inspection, with conditions severe enough to thwart him getting from the city's Hilton Hotel to the stadium in time. With the weather not expected to relent for at least another two days, the Tannadice club do not expect the match to be rescheduled for this week. Rangers are due to play Bursaspor in Turkey the following midweek, while Dundee United have a specially arranged fund-raising match with Dundee scheduled for a week today. The clubs might have to wait until early next year to play the game.

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Elsewhere, despite the referees' strike all four SPL matches went ahead as planned on Saturday. However, the entire Scottish Football League card was wiped out due to the strike, as were the three Scottish Cup third round replays due to take place on Saturday. The tie between Beith and Airdrie United had been postponed in any case after failing a pitch inspection.

Although the Alba Challenge Cup final between Ross County and Queen of the South at McDiarmid Park had been allocated match officials, the match was called off on Saturday after consultation between both clubs and police and in view of the worsening weather conditions. Am SFL spokesman said: "A new date for the re-arranged final will be communicated in due course. Tickets bought by supporters for this match will be valid for the re-arranged date."

In rugby, only one Premier match, and two regional fixtures beat the elements.