Hearts and Hibs learn Scottish Cup semi-final and final dates
Hearts and Hibs will meet in the Scottish Cup semi-finals on October 31 or November 1, with the final scheduled for five days before Christmas.
The Scottish Football Association have confirmed the dates for the closing stages of the 2019/20 tournament after ties were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Both Edinburgh clubs meet in one semi-final, while Celtic play Aberdeen in the other ahead of a showpiece final on December 20.
It has yet to be confirmed which semi will be staged on which of the two dates allocated. All three fixtures will take place at Hampden Park with kick-off times still to be confirmed.
Hearts are not due to start playing league football until October 17 when the Championship kicks off. They may feel concerned about being asked to play a crucial semi-final just two weeks later.
Hibs, Celtic and Aberdeen are due to start their Premiership campaign on August 1.
Rules on cup-tied players have been relaxed so anyone who appeared for a different team earlier in the Scottish Cup will not be prevented from taking the field in the remaining matches. Teams will also be allowed to use five substitutes.
The Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell explained the thinking behind the schedule as the organisation hope fans will be allowed into stadiums by the time the semis take place.
“We are pleased to confirm dates for the remaining stages of the 2019/20 William Hill Scottish Cup,” he said.
“It has always been our intention to play the tournament to a finish and while the impact of COVID-19 has dramatically altered the schedule, we are confident that the final will be a unique and memorable showpiece event during the Christmas holidays.
“The dates for the final stages of the competition will give the semi-finalists the best chance to prepare for such important fixtures. By ensuring no players will be cup tied, we have also ensured that each club will be able to field their strongest possible teams.
“The dates also give us the best possible chance of having supporters attend the matches at Hampden. The health and wellbeing of players, staff and supporters are of paramount importance and we will continue to follow the public health guidance from the Scottish Government.”
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