League Cup Semi Moved To Murrayfield

3 October 2018, 19:16


Plans to hold both Scottish League Cup semi-finals at Hampden on the same day have now been changed following widespread criticism.

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) said Hearts and Celtic will now play at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh on Sunday October 28 while Aberdeen face Rangers in Glasgow later in the day.

The original plan was heavily criticised by clubs, supporters, politicians and transport bosses.

Police Scotland had initially approved the plan but Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins called for further talks with the SPFL on Tuesday after police federation officials came out strongly against the proposal.

The SPFL announced on Tuesday it was in discussions over moving one of the matches originally scheduled for Hampden after a contractual obligation was removed.

The match at Murrayfield will kick off at 1.30pm, with the Aberdeen and Rangers game starting at Hampden at 4.30pm - a change from its original noon start.

An SPFL spokesman said: "In reaching our decision, we have consulted with Hampden Park, the Scottish FA, Scottish Rugby, Police Scotland, Transport Scotland via the Scottish Government and with the four clubs involved.

"A wide variety of issues have been considered, including the ability of local transport networks to safely and efficiently handle the flow of fans from all four teams to and from the stadia.

"As everyone now understands, this has been an extremely challenging and complex process, due in large part to a lack of alternative fixture slots.

"However, we warmly welcomed the Scottish FA's intervention on Monday. This has given us the chance to quickly make alternative arrangements and we are grateful to the various stakeholders involved for their swift responses over the past 48 hours. We are now finalising details, subject to contract."

The fixture issue arose because both Celtic and Rangers are playing in the Europa League meaning both had to play the League Cup matches on the Sunday.

A spokesman for Scottish Rugby said: "It's a very short timescale, but our team at BT Murrayfield delivers memorable events and will be pulling out all the stops to give both teams the perfect stage to push for a place in the final."