Scottish Cup restart sends Hearts to Brora Rangers THIS month and Hibs' Cup campaign kick-off date 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 quarter finals had originally been ear-marked.
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 after the Highland League was among the football levels given the green light to restart by the Scottish Government.
In total 12 second round matches have still to be completed with just five games in the third round – including Rangers match with Cove Rangers and Hibs’ trip to Queen of the South – confirmed and not awaiting any March 23 outcome.
Holders Celtic, who enter the competition at the third round phase scheduled for April 3 will learn their opponents when Arbroath host Falkirk at Gayfield.
Stranraer lie in wait for last year’s runners-up Hearts on the same date – but only if Robbie Neilson’s side see off the Highland League side two weeks on Tuesday.
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.”
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.