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SPFL forced to rethink: Aberdeen’s League Cup semi-final now to kick-off at Hampden in late afternoon

Wednesday October 3rd 2018 at 6:24 PM

Scottish footballing bosses have been forced to backtrack on plans to schedule Aberdeen for a 12pm kick-off in their League Cup semi-final with Rangers later this month.

There was uproar as the SPFL announced plans for both ties to be played at Hampden on October 28 –  meaning a kick-off time for the Dons before the earliest train from the Granite City could even arrive in Glasgow.

The later game – which pitted Hearts against Celtic at the national stadium at 7.45pm – has been moved to Murrayfield in Edinburgh and a 1.30pm kick-off.

The SPFL said talks with Hampden Park Ltd had meant they had got out of a contractual obligation to have both games played at the ground.

A spokesman for the SPFL said: “The Hearts vs Celtic match will kick off at Murrayfield at 1.30pm, with the Aberdeen vs Rangers game starting at Hampden at 4.30pm.

“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.

“As ever, it simply is not possible to satisfy the preferences of all parties involved and it is the responsibility of the SPFL Board to weigh the various factors and arguments before reaching a final decision.

“We will be announcing details of ticket allocations in the next few days and now look forward to focusing on the forthcoming semi-final matches between four of the top teams in the country.”

A spokesman for Scottish Rugby said: “We’re pleased to confirm our ability to host Hearts and Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi-finals on Sunday October 28.

“We’ll be liaising closely with the SPFL, colleagues at Police Scotland and other relevant event partners to ensure the match is a great sporting occasion for the fans of both clubs. 

“It’s a very short timescale, but our team at 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.”

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