Celtic can defend the Scottish Cup this season and can aim for the Final on 22 May as an opportunity to rescue something from what has been a season to forget for the club.
The Scottish FA have this afternoon announced that the Scottish Cup, as a result of the Scottish Government yesterday lifting the restrictions on the lower league clubs playing, will resume later this month and have outlined dates all the way to the final which is now taking place on 22 May. The outstanding ties from the Second Round – including Arbroath v Falkirk will take place from 23 March and the Third Round ties will thereafter be played on the weekend of 3 April.
That’s when Celtic will play the winners of that Arbroath v Falkirk tie.
The last two weekends in April will see the Fourth and Fifth Rounds of the competition completed prior to the Semi-Finals which will be held across the weekend of 8 May. The 2021 Scottish Cup Final will bring the curtain down on the season at Hampden Park on Saturday, 22 May.
Celtic have won the last four Scottish Cup Finals with wins over Aberdeen (2-1 in 2017), Motherwell (2-0 in 2018), Hearts (2-1 in 2019) and Hearts again in December 2020 when after a 3-3 draw AEK a Kristoffer Ajer penalty in the shoot-out won the trophy for the Hoops to complete a remarkable Quadruple Treble.
The Scottish FA have also confirmed that the Scottish Cup this season will see the introduction of concussion substitutes on a trial basis, following approval by the Scottish FA Board and confirmation by the International Football Association Board [IFAB].
In the event of an actual or suspected concussion, clubs will be allowed to use a maximum of two concussions replacements, regardless of the number of substitutions already made. The opposition will be permitted to make another change at the time a concussion substitution is made.
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive had this to say today about the news:
“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.”
Scottish Cup 2020/21 Fixture Dates
Second Round: Tuesday, 23 March
Third Round: Saturday, 3 April
Fourth Round: Saturday, 17 April
Fifth Round: Saturday, 24 April
Semi-Finals: Saturday, 8 & Sunday, 9 May
Final: Saturday, 22 May
Second Round Fixtures
Arbroath v Falkirk
Buckie Thistle v Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Brora Rangers v. Heart of Midlothian
Dumbarton v Huntly
Elgin City v Ayr United
Formartine United v Annan Athletic
Greenock Morton v Dunfermline Athletic
Keith v Clyde
Nairn County v Montrose
Partick Thistle v Cowdenbeath
Peterhead v Stenhousemuir
Stirling Albion v Raith Rovers
Third Round Fixtures
Brora Rangers or Heart of Midlothian v Stranraer
Celtic v Arbroath or Falkirk
Dumbarton or Huntly v Aberdeen
Dundee United v Partick Thistle or Cowdenbeath
Dundee v St Johnstone
East Fife v Greenock Morton or Dunfermline Athletic
Elgin City or Ayr United v Keith or Clyde
Forfar Athletic v Edinburgh City
Formartine United or Annan Athletic v Motherwell
Fraserburgh v Nairn County or Montrose
Hamilton Academical v St Mirren
Livingston v Stirling Albion or Raith Rovers
Peterhead or Stenhousemuir v Kilmarnock
Queen of the South v Hibernian
Rangers v Cove Rangers
Ross County v Buckie Thistle or Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Meanwhile Celtic’s Scottish Cup hero from December’s penalty shootout win over Aberdeen has today signed a new two year contract at the club. Conor Hazard put pen to paper earlier today and will be featured on Celtic TV later today.