'We want to finish it' - Hearts and Hibs set for Scottish Cup derby before 2021, SFA reveal

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The Scottish Cup semi finals set for April were postponed indefinitely

Hearts and Hibs could play at least one derby before the end of the year.

The Scottish FA plan to complete this season’s William Hill Scottish Cup but may have to do so in front of partial crowds or even an empty Hampden Park.

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The Edinburgh duo were set to meet at Mount Florida in April with Celtic and Aberdeen competing in the other semi-final for a place in May’s showcase final.

The Scottish FA are determined to finish the Scottish Cup this year. Picture: SNSThe Scottish FA are determined to finish the Scottish Cup this year. Picture: SNS
The Scottish FA are determined to finish the Scottish Cup this year. Picture: SNS

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and football’s shutdown the competition was postponed indefinitely.

While the SPFL terminated the four leagues after deciding that they would be unable to complete the 2019/20 season, the SFA have been hopeful of completing this year’s Scottish Cup.

The organisation’s chief executive Ian Maxwell revealed that desire is still intact, but is wary games may have to be played in front of reduced crowds or perhaps behind closed doors.

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“Ideally we want to play them in front of supporters,” he told Sky Sports. “If it becomes apparent that we are not going to be able to get significant numbers of supporters into stadiums for a period of time then we’re going to have to make a decision on playing matches because the matches are important.

“It’s our flagship event and we want to finish it.

“It’s unknown, if we thought we could wait until later on in the year and that would guarantee us a number of supporters in the stadium then great, everybody would look forward to that. If that’s not going to be the case then I’m sure we will get the games played somehow.”

There is a belief within Scottish football that full crowds will be able to attend matches in 2021, but Maxwell all but ruled out the competition being completed next year.

“It probably makes more sense to play it this calendar year,” he said.

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“When you start to get into 2021 we’ve got next season’s Scottish Cup competition to be played, league competitions that are going to be played, depending on what happens with the SPFL and the Betfred [Cup] competition we could be trying to cram quite a lot of fixtures into a short period of time and our ability to do that is unknown.

“I think the likelihood is that we will try and play them this year but we will just have to wait and see how that goes.”