The SFA have announced that the Celtic v Rangers derby next week might not go ahead.
Prince Philip died at the age of 99 yesterday, and his funeral has been planned for next Saturday at 3pm [SFA]. Out of respect, the SFA are beginning conversations about whether to go ahead with next week’s fixtures.
The Scottish Cup has already seen enormous upheaval due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with doubt on it being carried out at all. This is an entirely different problem, though. The Scottish footballing authorities could risk serious criticism if they were to go ahead with matches during an enormous state funeral.
The SFA’s statement read [SFA]:
“In light of confirmation that the funeral of HRH Prince Philip will take place next Saturday at 3pm, we have entered dialogue with the relevant stakeholders with regard to Scottish Cup Fourth Round fixtures scheduled on that day.
“We will update participating clubs, supporters and partners in due course.”
Celtic were to face Rangers in a massive cup clash
Given the importance of the Scottish Cup to Celtic, and today’s excellent performance against Livingston, in normal circumstances we’d be gearing up for a huge Derby.
These aren’t normal circumstances, however. It’s still unclear as to how a national period of mourning may manifest, but it’s more than likely sport will have to make way.
The SFA have an unenviable task here, but it seems obvious that next Saturday’s matches will not go ahead. As ever, we’ll keep you updated on events.