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Inverness Caley Thistle fans kick off over Scottish Cup semi final v Hearts start time

By Hazel Lawson

FOOTBALL bosses are chasing TV deals at the expense of Inverness Caledonian Thistle fans, according to the club's supporters' group chairman.

The SFA's decision to fix a 12.30pm kick-off for the Scottish Cup semi final between Caley Jags and Hearts at Hampden on April 13, has angered supporters.

It comes after the club's fifth round game with Ross County was moved from a weekend fixture to 7.15pm on Monday, February 11.

Stuart Murdoch, chairman of the ICT Supporters' Trust, said the timing of the semi final would case problems for fans.

He added: "My first thoughts when I heard the game was going to be held at Hampden was 'great', Heart's had been pushing for Easter Road, and some of our fans have never been to Hampden before.

"But the 12.15pm kick-off makes it difficult.

"The SFA seem to think it's acceptable for fans to travel long distances.

"Lots of our supporters are families with kids, they will have to leave at 6-7am and travel down the A9 - it's unacceptable.

"They should be trying to bring more people to the games, but it seems TV is taking priority over fans."

Some supporters took to social media to complain about the timing of the fixture.

Some of the delighted Inverness fans following the quarter final win at Dundee United.
Some of the delighted Inverness fans following the quarter final win at Dundee United.

On Facebook Wilson Patrick said: "What a shambles having folk travelling to Glasgow from Inverness for 12.15ko".

Alison Owen added: "That will be a ridiculously early start!"

As the Inverness Courier went to press, club chairman Graham Rae was heading to Glasgow for talks with the SFA on the logistics of the game.

Mr Rae said: “It is odd we are on our way to Hampden to discuss arrangements when some of the arrangements were made before the meeting.

He added: "In an ideal world all of these things would have been agreed in a face to face meeting. I would have preferred to have had everything on the table at the same time instead of some of these things being pre-agreed.

“But we will convey some of the concerns from the supporters. But it is not in our power to change things.

“We are thrilled to be in a Scottish Cup semi final and to play football at Hampden.

“We are excited and this a fantastic thing for the Highlands and Inverness Caledonian Thistle."

Aberdeen play Celtic in the second semi final the following day at Hampden. Kick off is 2pm.

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