The SFA is still optimistically looking to finish the Scottish Cup this season as Celtic seek to win it for the fifth consecutive year, according to the Daily Record.
Celtic could’ve been taking part in the last-16 this weekend. However, instead, the Hoops will be lining up to face Ross County in the Premiership on Sunday night.
This is due to the fact that all leagues below the Scottish Championship have had to be halted. This was a decision made by the SFA board and the Scottish Government last month. Due to the vast number of lower-league sides still in the Scottish Cup, that also put a stop to that competition too.
However, the Record reports that the SFA is determined to finish the competition this season despite being two rounds behind as of next week.
As quoted by the Record, a Hampden source said the following:
“Ian Maxwell has been very, very clear he wants the competition finished this season. How it’s done is anyone’s guess.”
Time not on our side for Scottish Cup conclusion; Celtic may have to wait
It’s promising to hear this level of confidence and determination coming from Hampden. Neil Lennon certainly needs this competition to return if he’s to bring any respectability back to Celtic’s campaign.
The latest on the lower league stoppage is that a date has been set for March 1st. This is when clubs from the Championship-below will be provided with a fresh update. However, the SFA have encouraged that this date isn’t taken as one when clubs can return to action.
But you would imagine, for the Scottish Cup to be completed, action needs to be taken imminently. The Record states that Hampden Park needs to be handed over to the European Championships in May.
One potential idea being touted by the newspaper is a Scottish Cup “festival of football”. This would see three rounds played out within a 10-day period. An event that would suggest a real rush to get the competition completed.
And Lennon will be praying something along those lines can be done. If nothing else, it could allow him the chance to end his Celtic managerial career on a bit of a brighter note. The Scottish Cup is the only trophy Celtic haven’t relinquished (yes, we know the league isn’t officially over yet), and Lennon will want to retain it.
For his Parkhead legacy, which for many will now forever be tainted, he absolutely needs it.