SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell is hopeful that the return of the Scottish Cup can provide a boost for fans across the country.

The tournament was suspended in January alongside the lower leagues as the nation continues to battle Covid-19. Celtic and Hearts played out last season’s final in December and there were rumours this season’s tournament could be extended into the 2021/22 campaign.

Celtic v Heart of Midlothian - Scottish Cup Final

Celtic and Hearts contested last season’s final earlier this term. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

But that will not be the case, League One and Two returning to action this month alongside Highland League sides with outstanding Scottish Cup ties. Premiership teams will be introduced from round three as clubs look to put a new name on the trophy, Celtic having won the last four tournaments.

Maxwell has confirmed that quickfire dates should help the tournament finish in May: “The Scottish Cup is our flagship competition and we are pleased that the temporary suspension of the lower leagues has now been lifted to allow the matches to resume.

“With the green shoots of hope emerging with the continuing successful rollout of the vaccination programme and the announcement of restrictions easing in the future, the news that the Scottish Cup Final will be played in May at Hampden Park will hopefully come as a further boost to Scottish football fans this week.

Scotland U21's v San Marino U21's

A further Scottish Cup boost. (Photo by Bruce White/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“The remaining rounds will be played in quick succession and with the fixtures coming thick and fast as the domestic season comes to a conclusion, the showpiece Scottish Cup Final will once again provide an exciting finale for the Scottish football season.”

Scottish Cup 2020/21 Fixture Dates

Second Round: Tuesday, 23 March
Third Round: Saturday, 3 April
Fourth Round: Saturday, 17 April
Fifth Round: Saturday, 24 April
Semi-Finals: Saturday, 8  and Sunday, 9 May
Final: Saturday, 22 May

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