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Scottish Cup postponed as SFA gives coronavirus update

The Scottish FA says it intends to complete the cup matches in front of supporters.

The Scottish FA has announced that the Scottish Cup semi-finals and final have been postponed but that games will be rearranged when supporters can attend games.

Hearts and Hibs were drawn together in the last four, with Celtic facing Aberdeen in the other game. The matches were originally scheduled for April 11 and 12.

In line with other competitions across Europe, the competition has been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

No new date has been pencilled in but the organisers ruled out playing the games behind closed doors.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “At this juncture it is also important to confirm that the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final ties between Hearts and Hibernian, and Celtic and Aberdeen, will not be played on the original dates – 11 and 12 April – nor will the final be played on 9 May.

“Given the fast-moving nature of this unprecedented situation, and the imperative to safeguard public health, we will consider future dates for the cup ties when the situation becomes clearer.

“We are, however, committed to completing the competition at the appropriate time, in front of spectators, and will base any decision on government and UK Medical Officers advice, and the readiness of the participants to complete the ties.

“We also await further information from the UEFA Working Group on the next steps for all other club and international fixtures which have been suspended until further notice, including Scotland Women’s National Team and national youth teams.”

The announcement came after UEFA had announced the postponement of Euro 2020 until next year, allowing space for domestic competition to catch up on fixtures, if the crisis has passed.

The Euro 2020 play-offs have also been put back, with UEFA saying Scotland’s semi-final against Israel and possible decisive match against Norway or Serbia would be played in June.

Maxwell was cautious about the likelihood of the games being played in that timescale, saying preparation time for Steve Clarke and his squad could be an issue.

He said: “While we await more specific information from UEFA in relation to the fixture, there is a limit to how we prepare for a June match in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the most recent government and UK Chief Medical Officers advice.

“I would like to reassure all Scotland fans who have purchased either tickets or hospitality packages for the match against Israel that those tickets will still be valid for the rescheduled fixture, when the date is confirmed.

“If supporters are unable to attend the rescheduled fixture then the face value of their tickets and packages will be refunded. Further information on tickets will be communicated to existing buyers in early course.”