The Courier

SFA update fans on Scottish Cup and Nations League play-offs after Uefa call

Hampden Park.

Hampden Park.

The SFA has outlined a plan to conclude this season’s Scottish Cup after discussions with Uefa.

However, the Hampden body insists it needs more information from its European counterpart before committing to preparations for Scotland’s Nations League play-off semi-final with Israel.

SFA president, Rod Petrie, and chief executive, Ian Maxwell, took part in a video conference call between Uefa top dogs and all 55 member associations this morning, where the European game’s governors confirmed the postponement of Euro 2020 until next year.

Uefa also stated their intention to stage outstanding Nations League play-offs – including Scotland’s clash with Israel – in June.

However, SFA chief, Maxwell, insists planning for such a match would prove nigh-on impossible given the uncertainly surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “As well as the agreement to postpone Euro 2020 until next year, we also received indications that our Uefa Nations League Play-Off semi-final against Israel at Hampden Park, due to be played on 26 March, is now scheduled to take place in early June, with no date as yet confirmed.

“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.”

On the Scottish Cup, Maxwell was more emphatic, vowing that the trophy WILL be awarded when possible – and in front of fans.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

On the remaining issue of the outstanding SPFL season, Maxwell, with his SFA hat on, was careful not to pre-empt the league’s response.

He said: “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.”