Scottish Cup to resume on 23 March after coronavirus breakon March 3, 2021 at 3:18 pm

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The Scottish Cup will resume on 23 March with outstanding second-round ties, and the final will end the domestic season on 22 May.

Celtic have won the Scottish Cup in each of the last four seasons

The competition was at risk after being paused along with all levels below the Championship in January amid a tightening of coronavirus restrictions.

After that suspension was partially lifted on Tuesday, the Scottish FA has confirmed new cup dates.

The final at Hampden is pushed back two weeks from its original 8 May slot.

The 16 third-round ties are to be played on the weekend of 3-4 April with the fourth and fifth taking place on consecutive weekends from 17 April.

The semi-finals are set for 8-9 May – the weekend before the regular Premiership season ends.

While the the SWPL 2 and leagues below SPFL League 2 remain shut down, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed “certain Highland League teams” will be allowed to play Scottish Cup ties.

The tournament will also trial the use of concussion substitutes. Teams will be permitted to make up to two concussions replacements, regardless of the number of substitutions already made, and the opposition are able to make a change at the same time.

Holders Celtic have won the Scottish Cup four seasons running, having defeated Hearts on penalties in December to complete the quadruple treble in last term’s delayed final.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell 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.

“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.”

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