Date: 8th February 2020 at 10:02am
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Ian Maxwell has denied asking the SPFL for a blank weekend before Scotland’s Euro 2020 Play Off semi-final against Israel on March 26.

The weekend of March 28/29 has already been cleared for international matches but before word went out that the weekend of March 21/22 should be kept clear for the SFA.

Celtic are due to face on the 21st of March but that will be put back 24 hours if ’s side get past Copenhagen to reach the last 16 of the .

Playing Sunday-Thursday shouldn’t be any problem for international footballers but the issue of another international break would make it almost impossible to catch up on fixtures ahead of the post-split fixtures on April 18.

Maxwell told the Daily Record:

If I put my club head back on, the fixture calendar is a nightmare. If we were to postpone games and the Old Firm continue to do well in Europe it would create a myriad of problems before the split.

However, we’ve never asked for a break in the fixtures. We asked for no games to be played on the Sunday beforehand because players would then be unavailable to train until the Tuesday or Wednesday.

All I said to Neil was, ‘Could you speak to the broadcasters and make sure there’s no game on the Sunday? They can play on the Friday or Saturday’. We’ll see what happens but we’d like to think they’ll help us out.

There are complications because we want the Old Firm to continue to progress in Europe and if they do they will have to play on that Sunday. Scott McTominay could also be involved with United in the Europa League so it’s not straightforward. However, it’s the way of modern football.

The play-off dates were known of in the summer when the SPFL drew up their fixtures which included three international breaks before December as well as the weekend of March 28/29.

Should Maxwell’s team beat Israel at Hampden they will be away to Norway or for a one-off match to reach the European Championships.

In June 2019 Maxwell said ‘I don’t think we would let it go for ever’ when asked about the 2011 UEFA licence given to . Since then no comment has been made from anyone at the .