Aberdeen’s Betfred Cup semi-final against Rangers will kick-off at Hampden at noon on Sunday October 28, the SPFL confirmed tonight.
And the last four clash at the national stadium will be followed later that day by Hearts v Celtic, which will kick-off at 7.45pm.
The SPFL faced a logistical nightmare after both Old Firm sides made it to the last four, with the games scheduled for the weekend after they play Europa League games.
Because their games are on the Thursday, neither team could play on the Saturday, and the SPFL said the decision for the Dons game to kick-off at noon was based on police advice.
Murrayfield had been mooted as a potential venue, but the league tonight said it was contractually obliged to hold the games at Hampden.
SPFL secretary Iain Blair said: “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 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.”
Aberdeen made it to the last four by defeating Hibs 6-5 on penalties after a 0-0 draw, while Hearts beat Motherwell 4-2, Rangers thrashed Ayr 4-0 and last year’s winners Celtic beat St Johnstone 1-0 last night.
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