Celtic: SFA rejects Championship side's offer to stage Scottish Cup final to allow fans in

Scottish Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle have failed with an audacious attempt to HOST the Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Hearts later this month.

The Scottish Cup final will be staged at Hampden as planned
The Scottish Cup final will be staged at Hampden as planned

Reports on Wednesday suggested that Caley Jags chief executive Scot Gardiner – who spent time in a similar role at Tynecastle – had contacted the Scottish FA offering the use of the Caledonian Stadium for the December 20 showpiece.

Gardiner is believed to have talked up the fact that a small number of fans would be able to attend the fixture if held in the Highland capital. Inverness is within a Tier 1 region while Hampden is within the Tier 4 Glasgow City and even though that will drop to Tier 3 by the end of this week, Celtic and Hearts fans will still be locked out of the game.

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

While the chance of having fans in attendance may have been Gardiner's main selling point, there would have been additional costs involved for both clubs in terms of travel and accommodation and any fans wanting to attend would have to be living in the same region as Inverness.

The Caley Jags were permitted to let 300 fans in to their November 21 match against Raith Rovers and will do so again for this weekend's Championship clash with Dundee.

It is understood that Scottish FA chief Ian Maxwell declined the surprise offer, citing a contractual commitment to use Hampden. Broadcasters BBC Scotland and Premier Sports would also have been affected had the venue been switched.

Celtic and Hearts are scheduled to meet at the national stadium on Sunday December 20 with a 2.15pm kick-off.

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