STEVE SIMONSEN will be clear to face Celtic in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden a week on Sunday.

The The Rangers goalkeeper has been charged by the SFA with breaching strict gambling rules, but the Principal Hearing has been set for February 12 – 11 days after the Cup-tie.

Hampden chiefs claim the 35-year-old Englishman placed 18 bets last season and another 37 this term.

SFA Disciplinary Rule 33 prohibits players, coaches, club officials and referees in Scotland from betting on football anywhere in the world.

The governing body’s first charge states that Simonsen placed 18 bets between January 15 and June 22 last year.

A second charge accuses the former Everton No.1 of then gambling on 37 matches which took place between September 6 and January 13.

The SFA insists there is no suggestion the Ibrox player, who has made 26 appearances this season in place of the injured Cammy Bell, was involved in any of the matches he is accused of betting on.

Simonsen has until Thursday to respond to the complaint.

The SFA has taken a hard-line stance on gambling breaches in recent years.

In September 2013, Simonsen’s Ibrox team-mate Ian Black was handed a 10-game ban – seven of which were suspended – and a £7,500 fine after he admitted to placing 160 football bets over a seven-year period.

Three of the matches involved bets placed against the former Hearts and Inverness Caley Thistle midfielder’s own team.

Five months later, Ayr United forward Michael Moffat was given a four-game ban – with another two suspended – after he was found guilty of placing seven bets on six matches involving his own team.

Moffat, who avoided a fine, was also found guilty of placing an additional 150 bets on other games.

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