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Thursday 27th September 2018

Betfred Cup

Double header for semi-finals

Both matches to be played at Hampden Park on Sunday 28 October

Betfred Cup semi-finals - Sunday 28 October - Hampden Park, Glasgow

  • Aberdeen v Rangers - Live on BT Sport, kick-off 12 noon
     
  • Heart of Midlothian v Celtic - Live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm

Last night’s Betfred Cup draw, which saw Celtic and Rangers avoid each other, means Scotland’s two representatives in Europe will play their semi-final matches at Hampden on the same day.

Following a meeting with the four semi-finalists earlier today, SPFL secretary Iain Blair confirmed that both matches, Aberdeen vs Rangers and Hearts vs Celtic, will take place at the National Stadium on Sunday 28 October. Aberdeen vs Rangers will kick off at 12 noon, with Heart of Midlothian vs Celtic kicking off at 7.45pm the same day. Both matches will be broadcast live on BT Sport.

The SPFL is contractually obliged to bring both semi-finals to Hampden.

Iain Blair said: “We knew going into last night’s Betfred Cup draw there was a chance that if Rangers and Celtic reached the Betfred Cup semi-finals the draw could keep them apart, and because they both have a UEFA Europa League match on Thursday 25 October, we had to find a solution which gave them the necessary two-day gap between competitive matches.

“We’ve been working hard with Police Scotland and Hampden Park on contingency planning for exactly this scenario and, together, we examined every possible permutation. 

“The crowded fixture calendar means that this is the best and most practical solution as any alternative had the knock-on effect of causing major fixture congestion, not only for Celtic and Rangers, but for several other SPFL clubs.

“We met with representatives of all four clubs earlier today and explained that this was the only feasible outcome.

“The fact that both Celtic and Rangers are in Europe, and will hopefully be playing in the Europa League after the New Year, is obviously good news for Scottish football, but it does mean that our capacity for rescheduling games is significantly curtailed.

“We can confirm that Police Scotland have advised that the Aberdeen vs Rangers game should be played first.”

A Hampden Park Limited spokesman said “We have already started the detailed planning process which is standard practice for all major events at the Stadium. Hampden is the home of Scottish football and we all look forward to assisting our SPFL colleagues with the delivery of two very exciting Betfred Cup semi-finals at the Stadium.”