Scottish Cup: Competition to resume with remaining second-round ties on 23 March

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

The Scottish Cup will resume on Tuesday, 23 March with 12 outstanding second-round ties and the rescheduled final ending the season on 22 May.

The competition was in doubt after being paused along with all football below the Championship in January amid a tightening of Covid-19 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 rounds 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.

As a consequence, the post-split fixtures in the top flight will now be on the weekends of 10-11 April, 1-2 May and 15-16 May, as well as the midweeks of 20-21 April and 11-12 May.

While the SWPL 2 and leagues below SPFL League 2 remain shut down, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed Highland League clubs still involved in the Scottish Cup will be allowed to fulfil their ties.

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.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell says the competition's return provides a "further boost" after the lower leagues were given the green light to restart.

"The remaining rounds will be played in quick succession and the showpiece Scottish Cup final will once again provide an exciting finale for the Scottish football season," Maxwell added.

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.

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